Christian Oliveira already had a score above the 100 points required by the International Ski Federation (FIS) and he needed to be among the top 30 in one of the World Cup events to allow him to be among the possible candidates for the Winter Olympic Games, which take place between February 4th and 20th in China.
The Portuguese snowboarder today reached 25th place in the parallel slalom event of the World Cup held in Bad Gastein, Austria, after having previously made a 'top 30', although outside the qualifying window.
Christian Oliveira will continue to compete for a spot until the end of qualifying for Beijing2022, on January 16, and he will have to wait until the 17th to find out the list of the final scores of athletes from the various countries, since only 32 athletes from the discipline are eligible.
The 'rider' will compete again on the 14th and 15th in Simonhohe, also in Austria, in the parallel giant slalom event, to try to improve his score in the FIS 'ranking'.
In statements to the Lusa agency, the national snowboard coach, Nuno Marques, known in winter sports as Mancha, stressed that the result obtained today by Christian Oliveira “is a historic milestone for Portuguese snowboarding, because no other [athlete] had managed to do it” .
Nuno Marques expressed his satisfaction that the athlete has achieved the requirements for Olympic qualification and “it remains to be seen how many points he will have on the 16th”.
In the 81st place on the list of the best in the world, the snowboarder has to do “the best possible result” and “be lucky that other countries make choices that allow him to go up in the 'ranking'”, explained the national coach, who highlights the “great margin of progression” of the athlete, “very evolved” for his age.
Christian Oliveira, of Portuguese descent, born in Australia 22 years ago, with roots in Covelo, parish of Valadares, in the municipality of São Pedro do Sul, wants to be the first Portuguese snowboarder at the Olympic Games.
Portugal has also secured spots for Beijing 2022 for three other athletes, two in alpine skiing, one for men and one for women, and another for cross-country skiing.