Sport Bolivia's Alpine skier overcomes mountains of a different kind

20:21  12 january  2018
20:21  12 january  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Hirscher equals Tomba with 50th Alpine Ski World Cup win

  Hirscher equals Tomba with 50th Alpine Ski World Cup win Austria's Marcel Hirscher clinched his 50th World Cup win on Thursday with victory in the slalom at Zagreb, moving level with Italian legend Alberto Tomba in third place on the all-time list. Hirscher won in 1min 50.60sec with compatriot Michael Matt just 0.05sec behind while Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, 0.11sec behind, was third.Hirscher, who leads Kristoffersen by 94 points in the World Cup standings, is bidding to retain the overall title he has held since 2012.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

a man riding skis down a snow covered slope: Alpine Skiing - Men's Giant Slalom© REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth Alpine Skiing - Men's Giant Slalom Bolivia's lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander was born and raised in Austria and has no family connection to the Andean nation, meaning that he had go through the laborious process of obtaining citizenship to represent his adopted country.

"I don't know how many times I went to the immigration department or how many photocopies I had to make or how many forms I had to fill in," he told Reuters after taking part in a World Cup slalom race in Adelboden.

Alpine skiing: Hirscher survives scare in giant slalom to win again

  Alpine skiing: Hirscher survives scare in giant slalom to win again <p>Austrian Marcel Hirscher continued his seemingly inevitable march towards a seventh overall World Cup title by winning the giant slalom at Adelboden on Saturday, despite nearly crashing near the end of his second run.</p>Austrian Marcel Hirscher continued his seemingly inevitable march towards a seventh overall World Cup title by winning the giant slalom at Adelboden on Saturday, despite nearly crashing near the end of his second run.

By Brian Homewood. ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) – Bolivia ’ s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month’s Pyeongchang Games.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

"In total the whole process took a lot of time, six to six and a half years, and in that time it was very difficult to ski and to train."

Some countries offer short cuts to athletes hoping to compete for them but Kammerlander obtained no such privileges.

"A long time ago maybe I could have got around this, but nowadays, everything is done with documents, registrations...it's really difficult," the 24-year-old said.

It will be the fifth time Bolivia has been represented at the Winter Games and the first since Albertville in 1992.

Much of the country lies at over 3,000 metres above sea level and it used to boast the world's highest ski resort, Chacaltaya at a dizzying 5,300 metres.

Older versions of the South American Handbook described a nerve-wracking journey up a winding road to the resort in buses which were not equipped with chains and "drivers not used to driving on snow".

Peterhansel leads Dakar Rally but al-Attiyah hits back

  Peterhansel leads Dakar Rally but al-Attiyah hits back Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel took over the lead of the Dakar Rally.Peterhansel, driving a Peugeot and chasing a record 14th Dakar title in the event that also visits Bolivia and Argentina, was second fastest on the 296km timed stage from Pisco to the port of San Juan de Marcona.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ’ s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month’s Pyeongchang Games.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

But the single tow rope stopped working around a decade ago after glacier on the mountain disappeared completely and the country now has no official ski resort.

"Maybe now I am in a position to change something," Kammerlander said.

"At the moment, the sport is not very well-known in Bolivia. Hopefully, more youngsters will want to practice this sport, and maybe in the future we will have a lift."

LOCAL SKIERS

Kammerlander's affinity with South America began as a child with trips to Argentina where his father, himself a former professional racer, trained local skiers.

The 24-year-old's travels also took him to Bolivia and a chance meeting at a street festival kick-started his skiing career.

"I began talking to some locals about the mountains and it turned out that they were members of the country's skiing federation," he said.

At that same time, he had been hoping to ski for Austria. But having failed to make the grade, Bolivia offered an unexpected chance to revive his dream of becoming a professional skier.

Feuz leads from front to win for second time at Wengen

  Feuz leads from front to win for second time at Wengen By Brian Homewood

By Brian Homewood ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games. Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander was born and raised in.

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bolivia ' s lone Olympic Alpine skier had to overcome mountains of paperwork, as well as ones covered in snow and ice, on his torturous route to a place at next month's Pyeongchang Games.

He moved to the country, living and studying there before finally being awarded citizenship.

Kammerlander now bases himself in Austria for the European winter, competing on the World Cup circuit, and Bolivia in the European summer.

"It's perfect as I combine both things - living in Bolivia and being a skier," said Kammerlander, the first from Bolivia to compete professionally in skiing's season-long World Cup.

"It means a lot to me to take part at the Olympics. I feel very proud and privileged to compete under the Bolivian flag."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Related slideshow: Buildup to the Winter Olympics (Provided by photo services)

Wonder Woman: Mancuso retires from skiing in superhero style .
The Wonder Woman suit. The red cape with a big "J'' printed on it.&nbsp;

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!