According to Urmas Sõõrumaa, the president of the Estonian Olympic Committee, the Olympic period which is about to start is special. “We are looking forward to the world’s greatest sports celebration, which has taken four years of waiting and preparation. As many as 13 athletes of the 22 on the Estonian team are going to make their debut at the Olympics. Our team are young and willing to surpass themselves while ensuring unforgettable performance for viewers to enjoy. On the part of the Committee, I would like to wish our athletes determination, strength and belief in themselves and their abilities. May your always know in your hearts that entire Estonia is supporting you!”
Martti Raju, the Sports Director of the Estonian Olympic Committee, believes that the size of the Estonian Olympic team is optimal considering the current situation. “The qualification stage was as tense as it always is, and there was both good and bad news as places on the team were distributed among the sports. For example, cuts in the numbers of athletes in biathlon and Nordic combined were not exactly met with enthusiasm, but two additional places on the team for ski jumpers came as a last-moment pleasant surprise. The number of athletes has also made sure we have sufficient support personnel to smoothly provide the team with aid and services,” Raju said.
“Preparations for our participation in the Olympic Games have basically been completed. The rest mainly will have to do with the team’s logistics and organization of its daily life on the site. Most of the equipment, the Olympic village and other facilities in PyeongChang are ready and have been tested, so the only thing left is waiting for the Games to start,” Raju added.
The Estonian team for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games:
- Cross-country skiing: Karel Tammjärv, Raido Ränkel, Marko Kilp, Andreas Veerpalu, Algo Kärp, Tatjana Mannima, Anette Veerpalu
- Biathlon: Kauri Kõiv, Roland Lessing, Kalev Ermits, Rene Zahkna, Johan Talihärm, Johanna Talihärm
- Nordic combined: Kristjan Ilves, Karl-August Tiirmaa
- Speed skating: Saskia Alusalu, Marten Liiv
- Alpine skiing: Tormis Laine, Anna Lotta Jõgeva
- Ski jumping: Artti Aigro, Martti Nõmme, Kevin Maltsev
Support personnel in the Olympic delegation:
- Cross-country skiing: coach Anti Saarepuu, gear maintenance specialists Raul Seema, Meelis Aasla, Asko Saarepuu, physiotherapist Kaire Leibak
- Biathlon: coaches Ilkka Luttunen and Indrek Tobreluts, gear maintenance specialists Kaarel Kuusik, Kalmer Tramm and Eeri Vahtra, physiotherapist Keio Kits
- Nordic combined: coach Andrus Ilves, gear maintenance specialists Tarvi Kuus and Rain Kuresoo, physiotherapist Joosep Mooses
- Speed skating: coaches Väino Treiman and Tristan Loy
- Alpine skiing: coach Deyvid Oprja and Oliver Hugo Nindl
- Ski jumping: coaches Jaan Jüris and Hillar Hein
Olympic delegation management:
- Estonian chef de mission Martti Raju
- Asistant chef de mission Merle Kaljurand
- Spokesperson Aivo Normak
- Delegation’s physician Mihkel Mardna
For Estonia, the PyeongChang XXIII Winter Olympic Games will be its 15th Winter Olympics, and the country will be represented by its Winter Olympics team as an independent state for the tenth time.
Estonian teams at earlier Winter Olympic Games:
- 1992 Albertville – 20 athletes
- 1994 Lillehammer – 26 athletes
- 1998 Nagano – 20 athletes
- 2002 Salt Lake City – 17 athletes
- 2006 Torino – 26 athletes
- 2010 Vancouver – 30 athletes
- 2014 Sochi – 25 athletes
Other sources you can follow for latest updates before and during the Olympic Games is the Facebook page ‘Olen Olümpiafänn’ www.facebook.com/Olympiafann and the related Instagram page www.instagram.com/olympiafann.