'Don't know how I'm here': Colombian roller-skater gets shock Olympic chance

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Colombia's Laura Gomez only took up speed skating 6 months ago for fun and last week was relaxing at home. Then came the sudden call to jet to the other side of the world for the Olympics.

It has been a rollercoaster 7 days for the 27-year-old, whose Pyeongchang Winter Games dream was realized so abruptly that she does not even have an official Olympic body suit or uniform in South Korea.  

"I am in shock now because I was only told last week," said Gomez, who along with team-mate Pedro Causil will claim a slice of history as they become the first Colombians to compete at speed skating at a Winter Games.

"To be in Korea is a super surprise, I don't know how I am here," said Gomez.

"I started (speed skating) in July and it was for fun – and now I am in the Olympic Games."

Gomez, who is actually a roller-skating specialist and has represented Colombia in the sport, was on the reserve list for speed skating until a place became available in the fall-out of the Russian doping scandal.

She said the bracing weather in Pyeongchang – where temperatures have dipped to -20°C (-4°F) – had come as another shock.

"It is cold, it is horrible because we are used to the summer all the time," said Gomez. "But this is the real winter and we are at the Winter Olympics."

"I am super happy." – Rappler.com