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Australian Athlete Has Swapped Desert’s Heat for China’s Winter Olympics


FILE - Australia's Breeana Walker and Kiara Reddingius after crashing during the 2-woman bobsleigh in Bobsleigh & Skeleton World Cup, Latvia, Jan. 2, 2022.

Australian former heptathlete Kiara Reddingius has swapped the desert for ice at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The temperature in Kiara Reddingius’ hometown of Leonora in the goldfields of Western Australia is forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius this weekend.

But the 30-year-old Olympic athlete is spending it in chilly Beijing instead.

She is preparing to take on the world’s best two-woman bobsled teams at China's Winter Olympics -- along with partner pilot Bree Walker.

Reddingius is a former heptathlete who saw snow for the first time in November.

Despite her lack of experience on the ice, she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that she has embraced her new sporting career.

“I have only done bobsleigh this season," said Reddingius. "So, I only first ever even saw one to jump into four months ago, kind of thing, five months ago maybe. I had been identified by quite a few people in Australia, actually, who knew about bobsleigh and so I actually had to get convinced to change over from athletics into bobsleigh and it worked out really, really well for me.”

Australia is not renowned for its winter sports but has sent a team of more than 40 athletes to China.

Australia has won a medal at seven consecutive Winter Olympics, and hopes are high for more glory in the Chinese capital.

Reddingius is hoping to win her country's first Olympic bobsled medal.

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