Although Clifton Wrottesley deservedly grabbed the headlines with his fourth place finish in the skeleton event in Salt Lake on Wednesday, Tamsen McGarry also put in a performance to be proud of by placing 35th in the women's slalom ski race. The 20-year-old student from Dalkey started at number 68 out of a total of 70 competitors and battled through the treacherous conditions to record a very respectable 35th place in a top class field.

Indeed, many of the discipline's more illustrious names, including Christel Saioni, Kristina Kosnick and Sarah Schleper, failed to complete their first slalom runs, such was the difficult nature of the course. McGarry managed to complete two slalom runs to secure her top 40 finish and cap a memorable day for Irish sport. Janica Kostelic, who took gold, said it was possibly the worst slalom course she had ever skied on.

The daughter of ski instructors Ian and Jane, she began skiing at the tender age of two and learned her trade in the early years at the Skiclub in Kilternan, south Dublin. McGarry has deferred her studies and relocated to France, where she now does most of her training. Together with younger sister Kirsty, Peter Byrne and Andrew McCleave, Tamsen helped Ireland to the small emerging nations (SES) trophy in Norway just before Christmas.

Filed by Shane Murray