Oshawa pride: Former Lord, Ridgeback just misses qualifying for Beijing in Skeleton – for Malta

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Published February 11, 2022 at 2:33 pm

So close. So agonizingly close for former Ontario Tech Ridgeback and Durham Lord athlete and now Maltese Skeleton slider Shannon Galea, who had to watch the competition from Europe after missing out on Olympic qualification by two spots.

Galea, who played softball while attending Durham College and was a part of a Ridgebacks rowing and squash team, collaborated with the Maltese Olympic Committee in 2019 to found the country’s first sliding sports federation with the hopes to qualify for the Olympic Games. In 2020, The Malta Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation was made official, and Galea began competing in the lead-up to Beijing 2022.

Galea, who was working full time up until November with the Canadian Olympic Committee and as a physical educator for the Durham District School board, finished the season ranked 56th in the world in Skeleton for her newly adopted country of Malta.

“I finished just two spots away,” Galea said on social media, adding she was “more than happy with the result and with all that was achieved in the time I had to develop in this sport.”

On Jan. 14, Galea made her debut at the BMW International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation World Cup in St. Moritz, becoming the first Maltese to ever compete at the event, which sees athletes sliding head-first down ice tracks at 140 km/h

”Starting the Malta Bobsleigh and Skeleton meant a new beginning for a small nation in sliding sports and hopefully one day there will be an opportunity for an Olympic debut” Galea said. “Only perspective and positivity were gained from the experience and I am more than excited about the interest received from aspiring Maltese athletes from all over who are keen on some head first fun.”

“The entire purpose behind this is to grow the sport.”

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