Pete TAUFATOFUA (Tonga) at the opening of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2017 world Championships in ski sports in Lahti. Photo: Reuters
“SE” – about the most unusual sportsmen at the Olympic games in Pyeongchang.
Pete TAUFATOFUA (Tonga)
An athlete from a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean is almost a perfect example of how to make a career. Taufatofua became a worldwide star after the opening ceremony of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he was the flag bearer of my country’s delegation. The flag he carried in national costume, bare-chested and thickly smeared with butter. Then Pete in the same form appeared in dozens of television shows and became famous.
In Rio, the athlete competed in Taekwondo competitions, in Pyeongchang try yourself in skiing. To do this he had to pass a difficult selection and to recruit the necessary number of points in the ranking of the FIS. Taufatofua went for the 2017 world Championships in Lahti, where he performed in the sprint, finishing in 153rd place. This whole season was wound on the tournaments in Turkey, Armenia, Poland, running remote racing for 10 and 15 km, the Fate of vouchers in Pyeongchang hung in the balance: Taufatofua even had to fly to Iceland to perform at local competitions under the auspices of the FIS. There he took 6th place and qualified the same in the Game.
“In the last day of the Olympic selection at the world’s end, I prayed before the race and the miracle happened!, “wrote Pete on his Facebook page after the race.
Incidentally, on the journey he collects including through crowdfunding – find money help and found after Rio downloads.
Now the main question – in what form he Taufatofua will go to the opening ceremony of the Olympics? Bare torso has become his trademark, but the weather forecast promises on this day in Pyeongchang the cold of minus seven degrees, and must be considered characteristic of the region in a strong wind.
Surprisingly, Pete is not the first winter Olympian from Tonga. On Games in Sochi in 2014 came Luger Bruno Banani, which is one of the main exotics at the tournament. Actually the guy’s name is Fahey Canopy, but the name he was forced to change the name in honor of the sponsor – a well-known manufacturer of lingerie from Germany.
“Our example proves that even if in a country there is no snow and ice, perspective in winter sports still exists. Besides, in my opinion, our performances make the Olympics more interesting”, said Banani in an interview with “SE”.
Siegele ADEAGBO (Nigeria)
It would seem that the sled or the sled is technically difficult and dangerous sport that requires not only special training, but expensive equipment, but they are popular with the exotic for the winter Games countries. In Pyeongchang in the competition of skeletonised going to be the Nigerian Siegele Adeagbo – the first black African to take part in Competitions in this sport.
“It’s official! I’m an Olympian! A great honor for me to be the first athlete from Nigeria, from Africa, the first black woman athlete that will compete in skeleton at the winter Olympics. Faith turned my God-given dream into reality. Thank you all for your love and support,” wrote Adeagbo on his page in Instagram.
36-year-old Adeagbo mainly competes in North America at the world Cup this season were not.
The take care of him ADIGUN (Nigeria)
Nigeria will be represented in competitions in bobsled – and also in the women’s competition. And it will be the first African bobsleigh at the winter Games – both among men and among women.
Pilot – take care of him Adigun, overclocking – Ngozi Onwumere and Akuma Omega. Who will start and who will remain in reserve, will be decided later.
“This is a tremendous step forward for the sport in Nigeria. I am proud that we were able to play a role in the promotion of winter sports in my country. Now our goal is so great to represent Africa at the Olympic winter games, how no one else did,” said 31-year-old Adigun.
Girls, by the way, too do not shy away from crowdfunding. And, as Adeagbo, in this season played only in the Cup of North America.
Malayana CLAIRE (Madagascar)
Madagascar 12 years later returned to the winter Olympics Games 2006 in Turin became the debut of this African island. In Pyeongchang will go 16-year-old Malayana Claire. She was born in Madagascar, but when Claire was the year she was adopted by a French family took to Europe. However, the act she decided for the homeland.
On skis Claire stood in three years. Nine took part in the first competitions. 10 – won the first prize. It is clear that in Pyeongchang her goal is just to finish and gain experience, but at the Games-2022 in Beijing she hopes to win a medal. Now downhill skiing is her main occupation. Summer Claire traveled to train on the glaciers in Switzerland or South Africa, and educated remotely.
Interestingly, at the time Claire two years was engaged in judo, but in the end abandoned. “Because I did not like,” she explained.
Pedro CAUSIL (Colombia)
Cross country and Alpine skiing, bobsled and sled, sometimes the sled in these types of programs almost always have athletes from exotic countries. Skating – is already a rarity. 26-year-old Cowsill became the first South African who qualified for the winter Games in the discipline. In Pyeongchang, he will speak at the distances 500 and 1000 metres.
But he’s not a freak, which sometimes meet at the Olympics. Cowsill is one of the strongest athletes in the world in run on roller skates. It’s very similar – oval, technique, but without the ice. It has several victories in the world Cup.
“I decided to go to the skates because he could not fulfill his dream to compete at the Olympics, running on rollers – this sport is still not included in the program of the Games”, – explained his decision Causal.
To qualify for the Olympics he did the first time.
By the way, Causal – not the first who changed the rollers on skates. That way were Americans Chad Hedrick and Derek Parra, who later managed to win the gold Games.
Dmitry SOMOV, sport express