Ireland is not known for winter sports but a three man ski team are heading to the Alpine Ski World Championships in Japan.

Brothers Conor and Ronan Columb, with 19 year old Shane O'Connor are the Irish team for the 1993 Alpine World Ski Championships.

All three have experience skiing in  Alpine countries, but most of their competition so far has been on artificial slopes like Kilternan.  Having qualified for the 1993 World Championships in Morioka, Japan, this coming February, they are now facing an intensive training schedule.  Conor Columb explains what this will entail,

We plan to go back to Italy in a week’s time, for a week...that’s full days for the whole week on the slopes, with an Italian trainer.  When we go to Japan we’ll have 8 or 9 days training there, prior to the giant slalom, so we’ll get a good bit of experience through that also...We’ve been practising quite a lot up here, through the ski club, and we’ve been doing fitness training also.

Shane O’Connor is looking forward to getting more experience on the snow slopes, 

The snow is a lot more difficult because you can get things like ruts, which are like little bumps, and ice, which is...much more difficult to ski than the artificial.  The snow is probably an awful lot faster, you have to carry your speed, which makes it more difficult to get the turns in quick.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 January 1993.  The reporter is Peter Collins.