Benjamin Alexander has been congratulated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness for becoming the first Jamaican Alpine skier to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games.
The 38-year-old former DJ, who only began skiing six years following a trip to Canada, will represent the Caribbean nation this year at next month’s Beijing Olympics in China.
Alexander, despite no full-time coach, will become only the 15th Jamaican to compete at a Winter Games and follows in the famous footsteps of his bobsleighing compatriots who made the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada.
Disney even made a movie five years after Jamaica’s maiden foray at the Winter Games, inspired by the nation’s 1988 bobsleigh team, with the movie film Cool Runnings becoming an overnight sensation.
Alexander only recently secured qualification for the Olympics at the inaugural Cape Verde National Ski Championships in Liechtenstein. Yet his Beijing qualification is even more significant as only a limited numbers of athletes are permitted, 306 athletes in total and a maximum of 22 from each country, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
He confidently told the Olympics.com website: “Am I better than the average skier in terms of my ability to control a race ski on an icy surface? Hell yeah, way better.
“To actually then be in the start gate, or in the Opening Ceremony, is probably not going to feel real.”
Holness proudly declared: “Congratulations Benjamin Alexander on making history by becoming the first Jamaican skier to qualify for the Winter Olympics.”
See a recent interview with Benjamin below:
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