The Belgian delegation to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games


Every four years, the Winter Olympics see hundreds of athletes scrambling to amass medals, enter the history books and represent their country to the best of their ability. This year, Belgian has no fewer than 22 representatives in PyeongChang, South Korea.

These 22 top-level athletes - 11 women and 13 men - will compete in nine different disciplines, and together they formed the Belgian delegation to the XXIII Olympic Winter Games (official name) in South Korea on 9 February.  A total of 93 countries are represented, with 2,952 athletes competing in seven sports and 15 disciplines.

In the biathlon, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, we have Florent Claude and Michael Rösch. In the bobsleigh, a discipline in which participants have to slide as fast as possible down an icy track on their sleigh, Belgium is represented by a 100% female team comprising Sara Aerts, An Vannieuwenhuyse, Sophie Vercruyssen and Elfje Willemsen.

Brother and sister Jorik and Loena Hendrickx compete, separately, in the figure skating. Jelena Peeters, Bart Swings and Mathias Vosté represent Belgium in the long track speed skating. Our short track speed skaters are Jens Almey and Ward Pétré.

The only Belgian representative in the skeleton, an individual sport comparable to the bobsleigh and the luge, is Kim Meylemans. Kai Alaerts, Marjolein Decroix, Sam Maes and Kim Vanreusel will each attempt to descend the snowy alpine ski slopes as fast as possible. In cross-country skiing, a type of Nordic skiing on a flat surface, our sole Belgian representative is Thierry Langer.

Lastly, snowboarders Sebbe de Buck, Seppe Smits and Stef Vandeweyer complete the delegation of a country that has not been on a Winter Olympic podium since 1998 in... Japan, Korea's neighbour, when the speed skater Bart Veldkamp won a bronze medal in the 5,000 metres. This was a 100% record for Belgium, as he was the only Belgian athlete competing in that year's Winter Games. This result will be difficult to equal this year, let's be realistic...

It should be noted that the PyeongChang Paralympic Team Belgium comprises two athletes; they are the visually-impaired skier Eléonor Sana, guided by her sister in the alpine skiing, and the hemiplegic skier Jasper Balcaen, who is a slalom specialist.