18 November 2018, Sunday | 02:50pm

Olympian with Malaysian mother swept up in identity debate

2018-02-20

Isabel ‘Izzy’ Atkin started competing for Great Britain four years ago. ― Picture via Instagram/izzyatkin

PETALING JAYA, Feb 19 — She’s the British-American skier who enjoys dining on curry when she visits relatives in Malaysia.

But when it comes to national allegiance, Izzy Atkin is firmly in Britain’s camp, having become the country’s first Olympic medallist in a skiing event over the weekend.

Her bronze medal triumph in the women’s slopestyle in Pyeongchang was lauded by the British press after the youngster scored 84.60 points in her third and final run to move from fourth place and claim a podium position.

But immediately eyebrows were raised when the post-event interview revealed an unmistakable American accent.

Viewers began rooting around the 19-year-old’s parentage to discover father Mike is English while mother Winnie is actually from Malaysia.

Atkin holds dual nationality. She was born and raised in the United States and is currently based in “ski haven” Park City in Utah.

The stronger ties lie with the father’s family in England, the nation she opted to represent in freestyle skiing aged 15.

“The kids grew up on Ribena and Marmite,” Mike told reporters following his daughter’s success, a reference to quintessential British foods.

“She's back in England a lot, visiting my family.”

According to reports, Atkin appears to enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to her background.

Mother Winnie said she enjoys being a tourist visiting Malaysia and that she has a taste for curry.

In August 2016, Atkin shared images from a vacation here on social media were she was seen at the top of Penang Hill and skiing in Langkawi ― jet skiing that is.

Her parents met in Washington, US while working in the World Bank. They moved to Utah so Atkin could attend a school with an academic calendar squeezed between the ski season.

Winnie said yesterday: “This is a wonderful feeling. Izzy is very reserved and quiet and just lets her skiing do the talking.”

“I didn't realise Britain had never won a ski medal at the Winter Olympics before. I'm glad I didn't know that beforehand otherwise I would have worried even more!

 

Source: TheMalayMail/ http://bit.ly/2Hx0mt5

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