Fish Out of Water: Winter Olympians From Warm Climates

Everyone knows about Jamaica's bobsled team, but check out these other unlikely winter athletes from hot climates.

23 photos
Getty Images
Anne Abernathy, the only Virgin Islands Winter athlete, competed in the women's luge event in 2002. She qualified to compete again in 2006, but then broke her wrist during practice.
Getty Images
Arturo Kinch, from Costa Rica's tropical climate, has competed in the Winter Olympics since 1980 as Costa Rica's only skier, most recently competing in the Cross Country 15 km in 2006.
Jin Lee
The Jamaican bobsled team caught the world's attention in 1988 because of the unlikelihood of having a winter team from Jamaica. They inspired the movie Cool Runnings, however this year Jamaica's bid to bobsled in Vancouver came up short.
AFP/Getty Images
Venezuelian sleds, Christopher Hoeger and his father Werner Hoeger, were the only athletes from the largely tropical country of Venezuela in 2002, as well as the only father and son to ever compete in the same event at the Winter Olympics. Werner Hoeger competed again in 2006.
Getty Images
Philip Boit was Kenya's first Winter Olympian. He competed in Men's Cross Country 10-15 km in 1998, 2002 and 2006. 2010 will likely mark Boit's final Olympics performance.
Getty Images
Prawat Nagvajara of Thailand, where the weather remains tropical year long, competed in the Mens Cross Country Skiing 15km in 2006. Nagvajara was reportedly inspired to compete after seeing Philip Boit from Kenya compete despite his warm origins.
Getty Images
Isaac Menyoli, from the hot climate of Cameroon, competed in Men's Cross Country Spring and 10/10 km Pursuit in 2002. Menyoli is Cameroon's first Winter Olympian and has said he is competing though he knows he will lose in order to raise media attention about AIDS in Cameroon.
Getty Images
Dale Begg-Smith, from Australia's famously hot climate, was one southern participant that walked away with a medal -- a gold in Men's Alpine Freestyle Skiing. He is only the third Australian to win a gold in the Winter Games.
Getty Images/NBC 5 News
Helio Freitas from Brazil competed in the Men's Cross Country Skiing 15 km in 2006. He was the best ranked Brazilian going into the Olympics and came in 93rd of 99 in his event.
Getty Images
Robel Teklemariam, from the hot climate of Ethiopia, competed in the Men's Cross Country 15 km in 2006 as Ethiopia's first Winter Olympian.
Mirella Arnhold from São Paulo, Brazil's subtropical climate competed in the Women's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom events in 2002 and 2006. Arnhold finished 43rd out of 65 in Giant Slalom in 2006.
Getty Images
Jaqueline Mourao from Brazil competed in Women's Cross Country 10 km in 2006. She is Brazil's first female athlete to qualify for both the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics, where she competes in mountain biking.
Getty Images
Olivier Jenot from Monaco, with its mild Mediterranean climate, competed in the men's Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom in 2006. He finished 34th out of 97 in slalom, 48th out of 63 in Super-G, and did not finish the Giant Slalom run.
Mathieu Razanakolona from Madagascar competed in Men's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom and Slalom in 2006 as Madagascar's first Winter Olympian.
Getty Images
Isabel Clark from tropical Brazil competed in Women's Snowboarding Boardercross in 2006. She won ninth, the best finish for a Brazilian athlete in Winter Olympics history.
Getty Images
Alexandra Coletti from Monaco's mild Mediterannean climate, competed in women's Alpine Skiing Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Combined in 2006. She placed 31st in downhill, 41st in Super G, and didn't finish the Giant Slalom or Combined.
Getty Images
The Monaco bobsleigh team in 2006 competed with a two-man team including Jeremy Bottin and Patrice Servelle, and a four-man team led by the Prince of Monaco, Albert Grimaldi. Grimaldi has competed on the bobsleigh team since 1988.
Colton M. Jones
Alex Heath from the warm climes of South Africa, competed in the Men's Alpine Skiing Super G and Slalom in 98, Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Combined in 2002, Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom, Slalom and Combined in 2006. In 2006, he was the first African to compete in all five alpine events.
Nikolai Hentsch from Brazil competed in the Men's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom in 2002 and Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom and Combined in 2006. He finished 43rd and 30th in the Downhill and Giant Slalom, didn't finish the Super G, and disqualified in Slalom.
Getty Images
Jamaica had a bobsled team in the Winter Olympics since 1988, except for 2006. It's rumored they will have a team in the Vancouver Olympics. Here is the 2002 team, including Lascelles Brown and Winston Watt.
Getty Images
The Brazilian bobsleigh team (Edson Bindilatti, Claudine da Silva, Ricardo Raschini and Marcio Silva) competed in 2002 and 2006. The team was formed after team manager, Eric Maleson, was inspired by the 1993 movie Cool Runnings.
Getty Images
Theodoros Khristodoulou, from Cyprus' warm Mediterannean climate, competed in Men's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom and Slalom in 2002 and Giant Slalom and Slalom in 2006. He was the only athlete sent from Cyprus in 2006.
Getty Images
Alisa Camplin of Australia won a bronze in the Women's Freestyle Skiing Aerials in 2006 despite her warm climate origins.
Contact Us