Togolese cross-country skier Petitjean hopes to inspire Africa with Olympic debut in Sochi

Togo's first competitor at the Winter Games, cross-country skier Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean, hopes her Olympic debut in Sochi will inspire other African athletes to compete in winter sports.

Petitjean crossed the line in the women's 10-kilometer classical race Thursday in 68th place, nearly 10 minutes behind winner Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland.

The result was not the most important thing, though.

Petitjean, who turns 20 next Wednesday, said "it's good for African countries that they see it's possible for (them) to participate in the Winter Olympic Games."

Alpine skier Alessia Afi Dipol is also set to compete for Togo in the women's giant slalom and slalom next week.