A British-born former DJ is to become Jamaica's first Alpine skier at the Winter Olympics - six years after taking up the sport.
Benjamin Alexander is set to compete in the giant slalom in Beijing, having only starting skiing in 2015 when he skied on holiday in Whistler, in Canada, where he had been invited to DJ at a party.
The world renowned DJ, who has an English mother and Jamaican father, and who has played at major festivals such as Burning Man in the US, will be the 15th athlete to compete for Jamaica at the Winter Games.
The 38-year-old, who readily admits that he stands little chance against the sports elites, hopes his improbable run will inspire others, especially those from smaller tropical nations, to chase any alpine dreams they may have. On the back of the multiple stories of personal glory and inspiration of Jamaica’s Olympics bobsleigh journey, he is looking to make a bit of history of his own in making the Caribbean island’s sunny climes a much-heralded base for world-class Winter Olympiad.
Counting Dudley Stokes, the pilot of the Jamaican bobsleigh team who competed in the 1988 Olympics, as one of his mentors, says: “I'm very excited to be that person who can show that it doesn't matter what your background is, socio-economic or race, you have a place in winter sports.
“As we continue to try to inspire the next generations, for me, I feel like I carry this pressure to perform and to do this thing on my shoulders for diversity in winter sports, so that it becomes much bigger.
“Even though you may come from Timor, India, or Jamaica, if you start young and you have belief, then maybe we can be elite countries in winter sports in a generation from now. The saying is we stand on the shoulders of giants and they – the ’88 bobsleigh team - were the giants in my story.”
As the first Jamaican to compete in the Alpine Skiing event Benjamin Alexander is hoping that his experience shows that it doesn't matter about your background - everyone has a place in winter sports.