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Cool Runnings inspires first skier to represent Jamaica at Winter Olympics

A former DJ will turn into the primary skier ever to constitute Jamaica on the Wintry weather Olympics subsequent month.

Benjamin Alexander best took up the game in 2016 and does now not have a full-time trainer. However he controlled to qualify for Beijing after completing 7th within the large slalom on the Cape Verde Nationwide Ski Championships on 12 January.

The 38-year-old, who grew up in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire however has a Jamaican father, would be the first alpine skier – and the 15th athlete in historical past – to compete for Jamaica on the wintry weather Video games.

Pic: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace
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The 38-year-old has skied on 450 days of the previous two years. %: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace

He says his not likely tale is partially impressed through the mythical 1988 bobsleigh group – who have been the primary Jamaicans in historical past to participate within the Wintry weather Olympics – ahead of crashing out and completing final.

They have been reworked into cult heroes through the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.

Requested how he felt about participating, Mr Alexander informed Sky Information: “It feels wonderful.

“The most important emotion I’ve at this time is aid. I’ve put my complete existence into this, my financial savings, my recognition, completely the whole lot. It is taken 200% of my all to get right here.”

Two-year plan to get to Olympic usual

Two years in the past the engineering graduate made up our minds to make a plan to “get to Olympic usual piece through piece”.

He says he has skied on 450 days of the previous two years, not able to observe extra because of the pandemic.

“I took in this mission as a complete endeavour in March 2020,” he mentioned. “So a large a part of my struggle and battle has been in opposition to the pandemic – now not having the ability to get into the southern hemisphere to coach right through their wintry weather and shedding months and months of competitions because of them being cancelled.”

Pic: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace
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He would be the 15th athlete in historical past to constitute Jamaica at a wintry weather Video games. %: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace

Even though he hasn’t ever lived there, Mr Alexander used to be in a position to spend 4 months in Jamaica when he were given caught within the Caribbean because the pandemic broke out in March 2020.

There he used to be in a position to “be told extra in regards to the island” and admire the “cool issue” related to it on the Video games.

“The most important cheer on the Olympics is at all times for the host nation, however the second one largest cheer is at all times for Jamaica,” he mentioned.

Pic: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace
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Mr Alexander is hoping to encourage younger Jamaicans. %: Stephen Shelesky & Noah Wallace

Skier cites Cool Runnings as an inspiration

Requested if Cool Runnings had influenced him, he responded: “Had it now not been for that film and my pals making jokes about me being like Cool Runnings I don’t believe this plan would had been concocted.”

And on his hopes of successful, he added: “I do not need to take anything else clear of the individuals who began from the age of 2.

“My tale is all about participation and confidently inspiring the following technology of Jamaican youngsters to start out previous than 32.”

The Beijing Wintry weather Olympics starts on four February.

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