Durban siblings Chelsea, 15, and Tamarah Jacobs, 25, are off to South Korea this week to represent South Africa as torch-bearers in the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on February 9. Both figure skaters were invited by the Organising Committee to attend as delegates. They are the only South Africans invited to carry the prestigious Olympic torch.
The figure skaters, Tamarah Jacobs, 25, and Chelsea, 15, of Essenwood, were personally invited by the organising committee to attend as delegates. They were also the only South Africans invited to bear the prestigious Olympic torch.
The sisters, and more so, Tamarah, shares a special bond with the South Koreans. She was among the first group of South African figure skaters to participate in the “Dream Programme” back in 2005. She is now a full time figure skating coach in Durban.
The programme was part of South Korea’s pledge to the International Olympic Committee to promote interest and participation in winter sports across the Globe. The focus was on youngsters keen to compete in sports like figure skating from countries like South Africa as well as other African countries which are not traditionally strong in winter sports.
“My relationship with the Koreans was further developed when I got to meet my sporting hero, Yuna Kim, who is South Korea’s two time Olympic figure-skating champion. Yuna came to Durban in 2011 for the announcement of the winning Olympic bid, which took place at the ICC,” said Tamarah Jacobs.
She said she was “extremely excited” about her trip to South Korea next week as it has been her dream to take her sister, Chelsea, to the Winter Olympics.
“I have been a passionate figure skater and started skating at the age of 7. Now, I spend my time coaching others and promoting the sport. I now coach Chelsea and hope she will one day compete at an international level as I have done in the past,” said Jacobs.
She said a Korean film company recently came to Durban to film Chelsea and herself in action.
They shot a TV documentary based on the lives of the siblings and their passion for figure skating. The documentary brings to light the training and dedication of what it is like partake in a winter sport in a summer country.
It will be released online during the Winter Olympics.
The sisters hope that their exposure to the international community will help promote figure skating as a sport here in South Africa.
Durban siblings Chelsea, 15, and Tamarah Jacobs, 25, are off to South Korea this week to represent South Africa as torch-bearers in the 23rd Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on February 9. Both figure skaters were invited by the organising committee to attend as delegates. They are the only South Africans invited to carry the prestigious Olympic torch.
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