She follows in the tracks of her sister Tamsin who was the first woman to represent Ireland at a Winter Olympics and who was the Irish flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics of 2002.
Kirsten has been skiing from the age of two and competing from the age of nine. Since finishing her education in Rathdown School, Glenageary, in 2003 (with 520 pts and the school prizes in French, Biology and Business) Kirsten has become a full-time ski racer, competing on the Europa Cup circuit and in competitions as far away as New Zealand.
She represented Ireland in the World Junior Championships in 2001, 2004 and 2005: in the European Youth Olympics in 2001 and in the 2005 World Ski Championships.
She keeps fit by working out in a gym in Loughlinstown when not on the ski slopes of Europe. An avid U2 fan, she relaxes by listening to her iPod and texting her many young fans and friends world-wide.
“On the day, success is 80% mental,” says Kirsten. “After three runs on the downhill warm up course, I’ll have two runs on the Olympic course, each lasting about one minute. I’ll negotiate from 45 to 60 ‘gates’ at speeds of up to 60km per hour”
Torino 06 is Kirsten’s Olympic debut and she will be really happy if she gets into the Top 40 of her events at the Games as she is using the experience as an important stepping-stone towards the Winter Olympics of 2010 in Vancouver. Ski racers tend to peak in their mid to late twenties.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have the honour of carrying the Tricolour at the Opening Ceremony. It will be the proudest moment of my life and I will share the excitement of the occasion with my fellow team members who will all be doing their best for our country on the world’s greatest stage for winter sport”, she said.