Record number of Swiss athletes set for Sochi
Switzerland is sending a record number of athletes to next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, officials announced on Tuesday.
Organizing body Swiss Olympic said 163 athletes will be competing, including 92 men and 71 women.
Ski jumper Simon Ammann, four-time Olympic gold medal winner (2002 and 2010) will be carrying the Swiss flag for the delegation during the opening ceremonies, the organization said.
At the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, 146 Swiss athletes participated, gaining nine medals, including six gold medals.
Gian Gilli, the chief of the Swiss delegation to Sochi, said he believes the athletes will improve on this performance.
“During this season our athletes have won world cup victories in more than 10 disciplines,” Gilli said in a statement issued by Swiss Olympic.
“In my opinion, the Swiss delegation holds the potential to allow them to win 10 medals.”
The five athletes, including Ammann, who won gold medals in Vancouver are heading to Russia, Swiss Olympic said.
The other champions include alpine skiers Didier Défago and Carlo Janka, cross country skier Dario Cologna and skicross specialist Mike Schmid.
Of the delegation, 102 of the athletes will be attending their first Olympic Games, Swiss Olympic said.
For Ammann it will be his fifth Olympics but Sochi will mark the first time he has carried the Swiss flag.
“For me it’s a dream come true,” he said.
The Sochi Games run from February 7th to 23rd.