These tropical countries are also competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics
GREENVILLE, NC (Stacker.com) – The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 4-20 in Beijing, where more than 80 tropical nations are expected to compete. For the participating athletes, just qualifying is a huge achievement because no athlete from a tropical country has ever won a medal at the Winter Games.
Jamaica’s iconic bobsled team, depicted in the Disney movie “Cool Runnings,” may come to mind when you think of athletes from warm countries who defy the odds to compete in a winter sport. Then there is the story of alpine skier Shannon-Ogbani Abeda, born in Canada after his parents fled war in their home country of Eritrea. Abeda will represent Eritrea at the Winter Games.
For many of these athletes, adapting to a freezing environment by wearing extra layers of clothing is not enough. There are other factors, especially for those who are just starting out, such as the purchase of equipment, which is often expensive; find places to train, which means leaving tropical countries for colder places for outdoor sportsmen; and of course, attracting funding from sponsors. Many athletes, like Kellie Delka, have turned to family and friends for help financially fulfilling their Olympic dream.
A qualification system for athletes is in place for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. In addition, Beijing will apply COVID-19 testing measures for participants in the Winter Games who require at least two negative tests before departure, tests on arrival at the airport and daily PCR tests.
Stacker has identified 18 tropical countries that will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The tropical countries lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Countries whose borders overlap tropical and non-tropical regions are considered partially tropical. Puerto Rico, although not an independent country, is included on the list because it has a separate Olympic Committee from the United States.
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[Pictured: Flag bearer Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander of Bolivia leads out his country during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Nowadays, Bolivia is the only country in South America whose athletes have never won an Olympic medal. At the next Winter Games in Beijing, Bolivia will be represented by the Austrian Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander, who will take part in the alpine skiing events. Finland’s Timo Juhani Gronlund will represent Bolivia in the cross-country skiing category.
[Pictured: Brazil’s Edson Bindilatti leads his team in the four-man bobsleigh heat 3 run during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Brazil made their Olympic debut in 1920 at the Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Athletes won gold, silver and bronze medals, all while shooting sports. This year, Brazilian athletes will compete in five sports: cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, freestyle, skeleton and bobsleigh. Jaqueline Mourão, a 46-year-old cyclist and cross-country skier, will compete in the Olympics for the eighth time and made history as the first Brazilian woman to compete in the Winter and Summer Olympics. Bruna Moura and Manex Silva will join Mourão at the cross-country site. The bobsleigh team has the highest number of Brazilian representatives with Edson Bindillati, Edson Martins, Erick Vianna, Rafael Souza and Jefferson Sabino.
[Pictured: Pedro Causil of Colombia competes during the Men’s 1,000 m at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Colombia will be represented in the disciplines of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and speed skating. Michael Poettoz will be competing at the Olympics for the third time and is the first man to represent Colombia in alpine skiing. Carlos Quintana will compete in cross-country skiing and Laura Gomez, a speed skater, will compete in her second Winter Olympics.
[Pictured: Ecuador’s Klaus Jungbluth Rodriguez crosses the finish line during the men’s 15 km cross-country freestyle during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Ecuador made their Winter Olympics debut in 2018 in cross-country skiing. This year at the Beijing Winter Games, Sarah Escobar will be the first woman to represent the country as she competes in alpine skiing. The first Olympic medal won by an Ecuadorian was by a walker at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.
[Pictured: Flag bearer Shannon-Ogbani Abeda of Eritrea and teammates arrive at the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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In 2018, Eritrea participated for the first time in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Eritrea made its Olympic debut in 2000 at the Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. Shannon-Ogbnai Abeda, an alpine skier who lives in Canada, will represent the country at the Winter Games this year.
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[Pictured: Akwasi Frimpong of Ghana trains during the Mens Skeleton training session on day four of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Utah-based athlete Akwasi Frimpong made history in 2018 when he became Ghana’s first-ever skeleton athlete to compete in the Olympics. Frimpong lives in Utah but has been training in Russia for several weeks. He faces an Achilles injury, but that won’t stop him from pursuing his dream.
[Pictured: Haiti’s Richardson Viano competes in the Men’s Slalom at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italian Alps.]
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Haiti will make its Winter Olympics debut at the 2022 Games, a huge feat for the small Caribbean island plagued by intense poverty and recent natural disasters. Haiti will be represented by 19-year-old alpine skier Richardson Viano. Viano will be joined by teammate Mackenson Florindo, who will act as a reserve in case Viano is injured or unable to compete. Haiti first appeared in the Olympics in 1900 during the Summer Games in Paris.
[Pictured: India’s skier Mohammad Arif Khan at a training session in the Kuhtai racing camp, near Innsbruck, Austria, on Jan. 7, 2022.]
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Alpine skier Mohammad Arif Khan will carry his country’s flag as the only Indian athlete. The 31-year-old is First Indian athlete to qualify for two different Olympic events—slalom and giant slalom—at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Khan is currently training in Austria.
[Pictured: Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell of Jamaica compete in the Women’s Bobsleigh at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Jamaica, known for producing the fastest sprinters in the world, is once again making history. For the first time ever, athletes from the land of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt will compete in three bobsleigh events at this year’s Winter Olympics. The Caribbean island’s bobsled team made their debut at the 1988 Alberta Winter Olympics in Calgary, and their underdog story inspired the 1993 film, ‘Cool Runnings’. British-born international DJ-turned-athlete Benjamin Alexander is also making history for the Caribbean nation by becoming Jamaica’s first alpine skier. Alexander, who is of Jamaican descent, will be the only alpine skier to represent the island at the 2022 Games.
[Pictured: Flag bearer Mialitiana Clerc of Madagascar leads her country out during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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The people of Madagascar, the second largest island country in the world, hope to make history at the 2022 Winter Games. After several years of participation in the Olympics, Madagascar has never won a medal. Alpine skier Mialitiana Clerc became the first woman to compete for Madagascar, his native country, in the 2018 Winter Olympics and plans to represent it again at the next Games.
[Pictured: Jeffrey Webb of Malaysia in action in Alpine Skiing, Giant Slalom, at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Malaysia, widely known for its coastal beaches, would seem like an unlikely contender in any winter sport, but this Southeast Asian country is just that. Malaysian athletes first appeared in the Winter Olympics at the 2018 Games and will be looking to medal again at this year’s Games. Among those returning will be Jeffrey Webb, who will again represent the country in alpine skiing, and teenager Aruwin Salehhuddin, who will be the first Malaysian woman to ski at the Games for Malaysia. Salehhuddin trained in Croatia.
[Pictured: Donovan Carrillo of Mexico performs at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships on March 28, 2021 in Stockholm, Sweden.]
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Although Mexican athletes have participated in several Winter Olympics, none won medals. Sarah Schleper, an alpine skier and former member of the U.S. Ski Team, will represent Mexico at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Schleper, a mother of two, married a Mexican citizen in 2009 and has been competing for Mexico ever since. obtaining dual nationality in 2014. Donovan Carrillo, born in Zapopan, Mexico, will be the first Mexican figure skater to compete for his country in an Olympic winter since 1992. Carillo trains on an undersized ice rink inside a mall in León, Mexico.
[Pictured: Flag bearer Ngozi Onwumere of Nigeria and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Samuel Ikpefan, a French-born cross-country skier, will represent Nigeria at this year’s Winter Olympics. Ikpefan is the first male athlete to represent Nigeria at the Winter Games after a series of historic milestones including being the first Nigerian to compete in the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Germany and the 2021 World Cup in Sweden. Her father was born in Nigeria.
[Pictured: Peru’s Roberto Carcelen holds up his national flag as he reaches the finish line in the Men’s Cross-Country Skiing 15 km Classic at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 14, 2014.]
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Peruvian athletes first appeared at the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014 and will be at the Games again this year. Ornella Oettl Reyes, born in Germany, will represent Peru, her mother’s native country, in alpine skiing. In February, the daily average high temperature in Lima, Peru, (where it’s summer) is 80 degrees, so her Peruvian fans will literally be sweating over her performance.
[Pictured: Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on Feb. 18, 2018.]
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The Philippines is known for its abundance of beaches and exotic fruits, a far cry from anything to do with winters in northern climates. But sports fans in the Southeast Asian country are hoping Asa Miller, the country’s sole representative in Beijing, will leave his mark. Miller will participate in the slalom and giant slalom events.
[Pictured: Charles Flaherty of Puerto Rico in action in Alpine Skiing, Giant Slalom, at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]
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Puerto Rican athletes first competed in the Winter Olympics in 1984 and will send two athletes to the 2022 Games in Beijing. Kellie Delka, a skeleton athlete from Texas, will represent Puerto Rico, where she has lived for several years. The same will be true for William Flaherty, who is only 17, in the slalom and giant slalom events. Delka and Flaherty will be co-flag bearers at the opening ceremony.
[Pictured: Flag bearer Mark Chanloung of Thailand and teammates enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.]REPUBLICATE THIS STORY
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Four Thai athletes have qualified to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. Siblings Karen and Mark Chanloung, dual Italian and Thai nationality, previously represented the Italian national team. They will compete in cross-country skiing. Nicola Zanon and Mida Jaiman will represent Thailand in alpine skiing. Thailand participated in the Winter Games for the first time in 2002.