Benjamin Alexander is the first Jamaican Alpine to qualify for the Olympics. In February, he will be able to compete in the giant slalom in Beijing, continuing the national tradition that began with kitesurfing.
The 38-year-old former DJ admits that the story of the bobsleigh, who performed in Calgary in 1988 and later filmed their story in “Reggae on Ice,” was his inspiration.
“I spoke to Dudley Stokes, the 1988 quad bobsleigh pilot. It was in October when I was looking for any information that would help me with my training because I couldn’t afford a normal instructor. He advised me to focus on the basics and not be too busy. Head with novelties, curiosity “- admitted Alexander.
He’s only been skiing for six years, and apart from not having a permanent coach, and not having enough financial resources to invest in the best equipment, he’s had problems getting regular exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I had my doubts because I thought it was a crazy and unrealistic idea to qualify for the Olympics, especially since with the borders closed and competitions canceled at the last minute, it was difficult to plan anything,” Jamaica told Reuters.
He won the Olympic passport by placing seventh in the… Cape Verde Ski Championships in… Liechtenstein in January.
Alexander, from Great Britain, whose father is Jamaican, took his first steps in skiing in Canada. He was falling a lot, but that didn’t discourage him.
“I extracted knowledge from all possible sources. In order to see the best people with my own eyes and enjoy the Olympic atmosphere, I went as a cheerleader to the Olympics in Pyongyang four years ago” – he emphasized.
He understands that competing with the best in the world is not for him, but he wants to inspire people from small and exotic countries to the world of winter ski sports.
“Jamaica is famous for its success in the Summer Olympics, thanks mainly to the athletes. But I could do more for the country by participating in the Winter Olympics” – recalls the skater.
As he added, he never set himself any goals.
“After all, I will be racing with people who have been skating since the age of two, and their parents or clubs and sports federations later have invested a lot of money in their training. I’ve already done something unreal, and I’m no Superman, but the guy who inspires youth Not to give up on their dreams. Perhaps one day Jamaica will see the Winter Olympics medal ”- summed up Alexander.
He is due to report in Beijing on February 3, and the giant slalom is scheduled to begin on February 13.
Jamaica also secured Olympic qualification in men’s quad and double bobsleigh and women’s monobobs. (PAP)
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