Do svidaniya, Russia. After a month in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, I
have left the Olympic nest and returned to my own.
I spent my final week meeting some of the more unusual athletes: those who
have fought through sun, sand and heat to represent their countries on the
world stage. Much has been made of the real Cool Runnings Jamaican
bobsleigh team who I was lucky enough to meet, but they aren’t alone in
representing the Caribbean islands.
Dow Travers, an Old Harrovian, who was born and still lives in Grand Cayman,
was his nation’s sole representative. His discipline was the giant slalom.
Without snow in the Cayman Islands, Dow, also known as the Ginja Ninja, due
to his striking orange mop of hair, has had to seize opportunities in both
Europe and North America to hone his skiing skills.
Peter Adam Crook represented the British Virgin Islands for the very first
time, competing in the skiing half pipe. I also met Josi Santos, one of 13
Brazilian athletes in the games, who competed in the women’s freestyle
skiing aerials. The former gymnast had failed to make the grade for the
Summer Olympics so turned her hand to the cold-weather alternative in which
athletes soar up to 50 feet in the air to perform jaw-droppingly impressive
twists and turns. Without a winter landscape, Josi trained at a dry ski
slope on the outskirts of São Paulo with an airbag to cushion the landings.
But of course it is the British success that has thrilled and inspired. I
shall never forget the moment Lizzy Yarnold, pictured left, won gold in the
women’s skeleton. The British women have excelled at this Winter Games.
It has certainly been an experience that I will never forget. All I need to do
now is find a nation that will adopt me so that I canThanks Than compete in
South Korea in 2018.
My grandpa was Scottish so maybe, if they get independence, I could represent