To the cynical of Miami who believe there's nothing worth watching at the Winter Games, we humbly present Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe ... The Most Interesting Man in the World.
German prince. Mexican Olympian. World-class photographer. Professional musician. Fluent in five languages. Heir to the Fiat fortune.
As far as Riptide knows, he doesn't lead a double life as a mysterious diamond thief on the lam from Interpol. As far as we know.
As the Herald details this morning, the 51-year-old von Hohenlohe -- the oldest athlete in Vancouver -- flew down the Giant Slalom course yesterday in a tastefully outfitted Mexican uniform, complete with fake pistols and bandoleers.
At the bottom of the course, von Hohenlohe enthralled reporters with a ten-minute monologue on Nietzschean philosophy in Spanish and Portuguese, showed off his falconry technique, purchased a small island in the Black Sea and -- during a lull in conversation -- snuck into a little-used AV tent where he laid four members of the Norweigian women's ski-cross squad.
He also finished in 78th place. But why dwell on the negatives?
Von Hohenlohe says he competes in the Olympics as a salute to the other "exotic skiers" -- contestants from the range of non-wintry nations that make up the bulk of Miami's viewing public. After the jump, our own salute to the unlikeliest winter athletes.
|via Vancouver 2010 Olympics|
5. Colombian Skier Cynthia Denzler -- Fact. It has never snowed in Colombia.
No one has ever skied in Colombia.
Fact. The Colombian Ski Team -- yes, they have a website -- was founded two years ago by Cynthia's father, Hanspeter Denzler.
You will be shocked to learn that he is not a native Colombian.
4. Cayman Islands Skier Dow Travers
It's not a great sign about your chances when your official Olympic photo looks to be hastily copied from your passport.
But the real question is where you learn to ski on an tropical island the size of Washington, D.C. where the highest point is 43 meters above sea level.
3. Ghana Skier Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong
This 35-year-old is the lone representative in Vancouver for the equatorial west African nation, where he's earned the nickname "Snow Leopard" -- not so much because he's sponsored by Apple, but because that's the only iteration of the word "snow" that has ever appeared in Ghana.
2. Jamaican Skier Errol Kerr
OK, Jamaican skier Errol Kerr. The jig is up. We all know why you're really in Vancouver.
Your bold ploy to inspire a heartwarming Disney movie starring Doug E. Doug and the corpse of John Candy is all too transparent, my friend.
I'm afraid you're going to have to do better than a 9th-place finish in ski cross for that to happen, though. There's only so far that cute Jamaican accents and reggae music can take a sports flick, you know.
1. Mexican Skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe
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A few more key facts about Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe:
He has homes "in Vienna, the Italian Alps, Costa de Sol and Cabo San Lucas," according to the Herald.
He's released eight albums as an artist known as "Andy Himalaya."
Von Hohenlohe's tears cure cancer. Alas, he never cries. (Or is that Chuck Norris? Eh, whatever.)