ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Winter Olympics 2010 :: Lone Olympic Athletes

Updated on March 13, 2012

Two Men from the Carribbean Compete in 2010 Winter Olympics

Dare to Dream

I was inspired today by several things. One was a Hub by Patty Inglish MS about the winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Two was the indigenous peoples all over the world, now gaining a representation, as the Four Host First Nations are partners in hosting the games. Partial quote by Tewanee Joseph: " for the first time indigenous peoples have been recognized as full partners, it's never happened before in the history of the games." It is about time.

Third was the number of "Lone Athletes" representing their countries in these 2010 Olympics Winter Games.

So, before I continue, I ask you: Have you ever had a dream, one that no one else shared? Apparently, these Lone Athletes share a dream. Representing their countries in the Winter Games.

I love the winter games. I guess it's like getting Christmas, New Years and The Fourth of July rolled into one (Valentines Day and Chinese New Year as well this time around).

So as I watch these Olympic Games on Comcast On-Demand, I was amazed to see how many times a country was represented by a single Athlete. What odds it must represent to be the only athlete from your country competing against all of these other Nations for Olympic Gold. I was forced to check this out.

  1. Albania, Alpine Skier:Erjon Tola
  2. Algeria, Cross Country Skiing:Mehdi-Selim Khelifi (Algeria's third time to winter games)
  3. Bermuda, competing in the Olympics since 1936, (one bronze medal ever in Summer Olympics) sixth trip to winter games, Cross country Skiing: Tucker Murphy
  4. Cayman Islands, Alpine Skier:Dow Travers
  5. Columbia Alpine Skiing Cynthia Denzler
  6. Ethiopia (Established the first Ethiopian Ski Federation by himself) Cross country Skiing: Robel Teklemariam (participated in Torino games, finished 87th) to his surprise he was met here by an Ethiopian Federation upon his arrival, as a National Hero.
  7. Ghana , Alpine Skiing: Kwame Nkruhma-Acheampong Ghana's first winter Olympian.
  8. Hong Kong, (one of the most densely populated places on earth, 16,000 people per square mile), Short Track: Han Yueshaung
  9. Jamaica, Freestyle Skiing: Errol Kerr ( Jamaican Bobsled team did not qualify this year) First time a Jamaican has competed in a Winter games event other than bobsledding.
  10. Mexico Alpine Skiing Hubertus Von Hohenlohe 51 oldest athelete competing, Has competed in four winter Olympic games from '84 to '94
  11. Montenegro, Alpine Skiing, Bojan Kosic
  12. Morocco, Alpine Skiing: Samir Azzimani
  13. Pakistan ( competing in Winter Olympics for the first time), Alpine Skiing: Muhammad Abbas
  14. Portugal, Cross-Country Skiing: Danny Silva
  15. Senegal, Alpine Skiing : Leyti Seck
  16. Chinese Taipei (Commonly known as Taiwan) Luge: Ma Chih-Hung (Carrying a special flag agreed upon by IOC and China.)
  17. Tajikistan, Alpine Skiing: Alisher Kudratov ( did not actually qualify for games but was sent here for experience)

Seventeen Lone Athletes representing seventeen countries out of the 82 represented at the 2010 Winter Olympics Games.

On YouTube you will find a video about the sole competitors from Bermuda and The Cayman Islands, but in the Top Picks section of Comcast On-Demand, you can select 2010 Winter Olympics, then Best of the Day, and Part 2 of the opening ceremonies to see the parade of Athletes. Some countries are represented by over 200, in contrast to those nations represented by one or two (South Africa and Mongolia are among those with only two athletes).

For these people the First Host Four Nations representatives dance for the entire parade (Nearly an hour) and beyond that as the entertainment begins in Part 3.

Ethiopian Contender Tells Why a medal is not his Goal

Support and Sports

Now it is commonly known that in most sports, the home team has an advantage. There are more spectators cheering for the home team than the visitors team, and in many sports booing the visitor is not only common, but expected. That is what makes the Olympics different.

Out of the 82 countries represented here, 38 have never won a medal in the Winter Olympics. That is less than half, and more than half of these are represented by only one or two competitors.

Talk about feeling alone in a crowd. At what odds then are they competing? When there are 216 Olympic hopefuls from the USA and 206 from Canada not to mention the other countries whose teams actually make it to the triple digits, there are many countries who have less than ten.

It makes you wonder what one man can do for his country when a man of Ethiopian descent starts the First Ethiopian Ski Federation by himself. Or when the Israeli team is represented by 3 athletes. Israel's only full size ice rink is called The Canada Center and is primarily funded by donations from Canada's Jewish Community. Or when a group of Jamaicans forms a bobsled team.

Jamaican Bobsled Team, Calgary

Don't Give up on Your Dreams

I wish I could interview all of the athletes I have mentioned in the above list of "lone rangers" of their respective cultures. I have chosen these video clips from YouTube to give you a taste of their dreams, as well as the dangers of competition. Somehow danger goes against every fiber of this survivor's being.

There has already been one death, that of first time Luge competitor Nador Kumaritashvili, from Russia's Georgia during a practice run before the games even began, casting a pall over the whole proceedings. Many athletes wore black arm bands, not only those from Russia whose team got a standing ovation, in the parade.

Among the lone athletes on my list is a Luge competitor from Chinese Taipei: Ma Chih-Hung. Needless to say there is no video of him on YouTube yet. He finished 28th in the 2006 Winter Olympics, and is 24.

Having watched these videos myself I think they would all say the same thing. Don't give up your dreams, and don't forget where you came from. Culture is not a difference to be fought over, but to be embraced and shared. Let us enjoy these Winter Olympic Games, rooting for all of our favorites, regardless of what country they are from, for the heroes that they are. They have pursued their dreams against some amazing odds. And they're not even there for the medals, although they probably wouldn't turn one down.

So I don't know how to change the video to match hub. So, close your eyes and listen.

Memorabilia From Amazon

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Enelle. This is actually my hottest Hub although so few comments. I think I have Patty to thank. She helped to find a voice. Glad you stopped by. (HUGS)

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Well done! Very interesting, and well written. Enjoyed reading this different perspective on the Olympics.

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Patty! This is my first ever investigative piece, as well as first video adding. Was actually having major anxiety about it. I respect your opinion so I will dry my sweaty palms now.

    • profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      8 years ago

      This is simply lovely. I adore the warm-weather teams that train for snow - like the Jamaican Bobsled Team and years before now - Eddie Smith from UK that trained for downhill skiing on grassy hills in England! Such spirit is what the Games are about. I'm going to kink this Hub to mine as well. Thumbs up rating for you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)