The 2014 Winter Olympics have officially ended. We took a minute or two and compiled some interesting Sochi Winter Olympics facts we thought were fun enough to share.
A German Prince…. and the Oldest Competitor in the Olympics!! Hubertus von Hohenlohe the lone representative of Mexico in the Sochi Winter Olympics qualified to compete in Alpine skiing and he is 55 years old. Are you confused yet? Yes, you have to be a citizen of the country you represent, but not a natural born citizen. Did he medal? It wasn’t likely and no he didn’t; he crashed in the middle of his only run and came home with a DNF.
Japanese snowboarder 歩 夢 (Ayumu Hirano) took the silver medal in the Men’s Snowboard halfpipe. His name translated is “Walk the Dream” he is currently 15 years old and has been officially sponsored and competing at a high level since he was 11 years old.
An Olympic First:
The Caribbean island of Dominica was represented at the Winter Olympics for the first time. Gary di Silvestri, American born and his wife, Angelica Morrone di Silvestri, Italian born have a cool link to the medical world: they were known for their work establishing children’s hospitals in low income areas in the Caribbean and as a thank you they were offered Dominica citizenship. They had a frantic couple of months working to qualify against much younger athletes – but they did it!
Can you believe I couldn’t find one article on an athlete that decided this was their last. That’s a great thing I guess, keep dreaming big!
Most unlikely Competitors:
There were a good number of countries that weren’t likely to be represented at the Sochi Winter Olympics because of their countries warm climate, but guess who showed up? Cayman Islands (speed skating); Bermuda (cross country skiing); Zimbabwe and US Virgin Islands (Alpine Skiing); along with a few others you wouldn’t quite expect to participate in the winter games. Not just who showed up, but who won medals out of those countries? …well no one; most either didn’t advance beyond a first round or ranked anywhere from 50th on up (or should I say down?). We’re still giving props for even qualifying for such an elite event.
Other Olympic Trivia:
-World Renowned Concert Violinist AND an Olympian Alpine skier: 35 years old and skiing for Thailand – Vanessa Mae Vanakorn just barely made the criteria in the final weekend of Olympic qualifying, but she made it and ranked 67th. Kudos for being an athlete and an exceptional musician.
- World Champion Athlete in two “sports”: Alexey Voevoda, 33 years old and a Sochi native is an arm wrestling World Champion and competed in the Bobsleigh for Russia. He even had an appearance in a 2008 arm-wrestling feature film.
- Lying face up on a sled, passing goats and sliding underneath trucks Shiva Keshavan practiced the Luge on Indian mountain roads! Keshavan competed in the Luge as an independent, thanks to a long disagreement between the Olympic committee and Indian officials. He finished ranked 37th which isn’t awful, but apparently it was one of his worst high level performances ever.
-Richest Competitor? Snowboarder Shaun White’s net worth before the 2010 Olympic Games was estimated at $20 million. He continues to earn millions in endorsements as he is considered the face of the sport of Snowboarding. White didn’t have his best performances in Sochi this year and finished 4th.
-Speaking of money… Sochi Olympics were the most expensive games in history estimated at $51 Billion yep that’s a B folks not an M.
We hope you enjoyed Tafford’s 2014 Winter Olympics recap. We know the information probably wasn’t useful, but we hope some of it made you smile or at least raise your eyebrows.