Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A doofus, or a persevering athlete?

I'm not sure what to think about an aspiring Venezuelan skier.

Adrian Solano wobbled nervously backward as he exited the starting gate at the Lahti2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships this week. He fumbled into the white powder after sliding down a small hill. And he tried awkwardly walking up an incline while others raced by him.

By Thursday, sports commentators circulating videos of his comedic cross-country performance online had dubbed him the worst skier alive.

. . .

Solano’s saga has hit a nerve among Venezuelans and angered the country’s highest officials, who are denouncing France for deporting the athlete in January while he was trying to get to Sweden to train on snow. Airport migration officials in Paris allegedly doubted his story, thinking his journey to the slopes was a ploy to leave his beleaguered country.

“We will issue a strong statement to the French government for their affront against a Venezuelan athlete,” Venezuela’s foreign minister, Delcy Rodriguez, wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

Stuck back in Caracas, Solano’s supporters started a GoFundMe page that brought him to Finland just in time to compete.

The only problem: He hadn’t practiced skiing on snow, only on wheels in Venezuela’s scorching heat.

There's more at the link.

Here's a video of him at the championships.

I'm familiar with the movie 'Cool Runnings', about the wannabe Jamaican bobsleigh team that drew first hilarity, then respectful applause at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada.

However, they appear to have been a model of professionalism compared to Señor Solano.  In particular, entering a competition at this level without even once having skied on snow . . . that's just too much to swallow.  Even a few days' practice beforehand would have helped, and surely that's not too much to ask?



Old NFO said...

I'm betting he used Cold Runnings as his model... sigh

Miguel GFZ said...

He has to be some high Venezuelan Gov Official's son. If I still had any regard for my formed country, I'd be embarrassed. Right now I am not even surprised.

Anonymous said...

Sort of reminded me of the more recent 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards movie (2016).

Anonymous said...

Well...the dude's got some guts, I gotta say that...

Imagine - he's never been on snow!...and he goes out there - possibly only the second or third time he's ever had real snow-skis on his feet...and he's supposed to be any good at any part of skiing other than going downhill and falling down a lot?

Looks like he actually finished the course, too...

Everybody's crappy at skiing when they start - it's why they usually put the "bunny-slope" around the back of the lodge building, or the other side of the parking lots - to keep the laughing and the pointing at a minimum.

Given the opportunity - he'll likely get to be at least moderately-competent at it...hey, he might even get to be good, who knows?

Meanwhile - guts, that's all...