Anyone watching the procession of nations during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics had to be struck by Venezuela’s lone athlete, alpine skier Antonio Pardo, who enthusiastically danced his way around the stadium.
The 43-year-old Caracas native began skiing recreationally in 1988 in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, and only began racing in 2011. He first participated in official races after becoming unemployed. (He was formerly a banker.)
Pardo, whose sports philosophy is “do it because you love it,” is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian – and is the president of the Venezuelan Ski Federation.
But we’re just smitten with one indisputable fact: the man can dance.
NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a correction published on the Sochi2014.com website. Pardo had never undergone surgery for a brain tumor at age 8. The Sochi2014.com site had sourced the information from a Venezuelan newspaper that had confused Pardo Andretta with para-cross country skier Antonio Pardo Andrade. This information has now been removed from the biography.
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