A lot of the medals for the Winter Olympics are received by about 10 nations largely from Nordic and different rich locations like the US. What’s it wish to compete within the Olympics the place you haven’t any likelihood of even coming near successful a medal?
On The Small Enterprise Radio Present this week, I speak with Benajmin Alexander who’s Jamaica’s first alpine snowboarding Olympian having competed within the Beijing Winter Video games. He’s an unlikely Olympian since he began snowboarding at 32 and is from a rustic with no snow! With no likelihood of successful a medal, his story jogged my memory of about ‘Cool Runnings’, the 1988 Jamaican bobsled staff. Benjamin additionally turned the flag bearer for Jamaica on the opening ceremonies.
Benjamin began snowboarding six years in the past after a worldwide profession as a DJ. He would journey round with mates and attempt to sustain with them on the slopes.
When the Olympic committee tried to advertise athletes from smaller nations to take part within the video games, he determined to see if he might qualify from Jamaica. Benjamin notes that “if the Olympics is simply in regards to the 10 nations who suck up all of the medals, then the opposite 190 nations get bored, and that’s unhealthy for all of us”.
As the primary racer to qualify from Jamaica, there wasn’t a snowboarding federation that would help him. His coaching effort have been all self-funded and he “wracked up $100,000 price of debt”. Benjamin provides that “the typical Olympian $50,000 to $70,000 in debt.” Thankfully, afterwards, he was capable of finding sponsors due to the push for range in sports activities to pay most of this again.
Benjamin has a status for being “completely fearless”. He attributes his bravery to a lack of understanding in regards to the sport; “I used to be fearless out of naiveté”.