MEXICO CITY, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Mexico’s sole Winter Games competitor is a 54-year-old descended from German nobility who looks set to wow the world at Sochi by gracing the ski slopes in a specially-designed mariachi suit.
Mexican-born Hubertus von Hohenlohe, whose family come from Austrian ancestry and German royalty, will be representing the Latin American country in the men’s slalom at his sixth Games.
One of the oldest winter Olympians ever - he will be 55 on Sunday compared to the oldest competitor who was 59 - will not trouble the favourites but he is sure to make headlines.
Known for his theatrical flair on the slopes, his mariachi-style ski suit will certainly make a statement at Sochi and for him representing Mexico at the Games is the true prize.
“It’s a miracle that we’re there. It’s very difficult to qualify. For me it has been a lot, a lot of effort and we did it,” von Hohenlohe told Reuters.
”I now want us to go well, I don’t want to think about what placing because it won’t change anything in Mexico, nor the world, if I am 42nd, 56th or 31st, it won’t change absolutely anything.
“What will change is that (we) represent Mexico with dignity, with a good image and good intentions,” he said.
Nicknamed ‘the Prince’ because of his royal heritage, von Hohenlohe hopes his participation in Sochi will pay homage to the artistic heritage and diversity of his Mexican homeland.
“I‘m representing a country with a lot of creativity, with many artists, of a people that for thousands of years have made divine things,” he said.
“It’s best to show off this side of Mexico, it’s artistic side, the very beautiful side that it has.”
Not satisfied with being an Olympic skier, von Hohenlohe is also an accomplished photographer, pop singer and was a friend of the late U.S. artist Andy Warhol. (Writing by Paul Vieira; Editing by Rex Gowar and Ken Ferris)