Mexico’s Hubertus von Hohenlohe is the oldest competitor at the Sochi Olympics, but the 55-year-old will likely have the boldest outfit — a skin-tight mariachi-inspired ski racing suit.
Having made his debut at the 1994 Sarajevo Games, Hubertus is to take to the Rosa Khutor slopes resplendent in a shiny black polyester suit featuring inlaid silver embroidery, red neck bow and cummerbund, in line with the outfit donned by traditional Mexican folk groups.
However, it is highly unlikely that he will be allowed to don a mariachi-fitting sombrero, international rules stipulating that ski racers wear a proper helmet for safety reasons.
“We have a unique style, with a very cool costume. I think Mexico will be very proud of itself,” said Hubertus, born in Mexico City in 1959 to a Volkswagen executive father, Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe, and Princess Ira von Fuerstenberg.
He spent his life growing up in the glitzy Spanish coastal resort of Marbella, Italy and Austria, honing for himself a multilingual peripatetic career that has included stints as a singer, photographer and TV presenter, while also preparing for his sixth Olympic appearance.
Von Hohenlohe said in an interview that he had turned his hand to design for Sochi.
“I think it’s much better to let people know we exist,” he said, having founded the Mexican ski federation in 1981 and starting competing on the World Cup circuit three years later at the age of 21.
“We have put a great effort in to be here and clearly it’s a chance to show that Mexico is a wonderful country,” he added.
“You can send hidden or open messages and I thought up the idea of designing ski suits. Four years ago I got a gunslinger costume for Vancouver. This year I plumped for a design that is a little more Mexican. It is very cool and stylish,” he added.
Von Hohenlohe is the second-oldest competitor in Winter Olympics history after Swedish curler Carl August Kronlund, who was 58 when he took part in the 1925 Games in Chamonix.
“What’s nice is that we are a generation that is not getting older quicker, we have a longer-lasting youth,” said Von Hohenlohe, who describes himself as a “Renaissance man” capable of crossing continents and embracing different languages, cultures and experiences.
“By taking part I want to give people the benefits of believing in themselves and not stopping practicing sports as early as other generations did, to prolong our lives and our efforts a little more than they were before us,” he added.
However, Von Hohenlohe said that he was approaching his sixth Olympic Games with perhaps a different mindset from the likes of Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal or the US’ Bode Miller, who is in his fifth Winter Games.
“My expectations are different from those of a person who can win,” the Vienna-based Mexican said.
“What I want to do is my best, enjoy the moment and act as an inspiration for the many people that perhaps share your dreams, but have neither the strength nor inspiration to achieve them. The beauty of being an Olympian or someone who is privileged enough to race is that you can awaken dreams in others,” Von Hohenlohe said.
An 82-year-old man on Saturday set off from Kaohsiung’s Sizihwan Bay (西子灣) to circumnavigate Taiwan in a sailboat in 29 days. Chinese Taipei Sailing Association vice president Chan Cheng-feng said the trip had been a dream of his for the past 40 years. Chan, who also heads the Kaohsiung Municipal Athletics Federation’s sailing committee, has been working to promote the sport in Taiwan since leaving the Marine Corps in 1976. The biggest challenge has been ensuring that people learn how to deal with problems at sea and know how to avoid danger, Chan said. The octogenarian said it is exciting to “still be having
Tuesday night was another home run, another pitching win, another spot in the history books — just another night for Shohei Ohtani. The two-way sensation from Japan withstood another injury scare and pitched six scoreless innings to go with his team-leading 25th home run, reaching yet another monumental milestone as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1. Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. The Angels said that two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the
A tearful Naomi Osaka on Tuesday retired injured and US Open champion Emma Raducanu fell at the first hurdle as the top women’s players continued their preparations for Flushing Meadows at the Canadian Open in Toronto. News of the pending retirement of Serena Williams overshadowed proceedings at the tune-up for the year’s final Grand Slam, but there were no shortage of first-round upsets for fans to enjoy, including one by local Bianca Andreescu. Twice US Open champion Osaka, in only her second tournament back from an Achilles injury, battled on gamely before retiring while trailing Kaia Kanepi 7-6 (7/4), 3-0. “I felt my
As David Popovici has accelerated past his older rivals in the pool this summer, it seemed inevitable that the skinny 17-year-old would threaten world records. The only surprise when he broke the 100m freestyle mark in Rome on Saturday was that he got so quick so fast. On Friday, the Romanian had become only the fourth man in history to swim under 47 seconds as he set a European record to win his semi-final at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome. That was more than half a second faster than his gold-medal time at the FINA World Championships in June. On Saturday,