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January 21, 2022

All Sports Jamaica

Jamaica's Update On Sports and Athletes

Benjamin Alexander aspires to be Jamaica’s first Alpine skier at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022

2 min read

The engineering graduate, who was born in Northamptonshire, had a brief career in the finance profession before becoming a world class DJ. He has lived all over the world, from Asia to the United States. However, the mountains of Austria are his new home as he pursues his latest goal: to become Jamaica’s first Alpine skier at the Winter Olympics, just six years after attempting the sport for the first time.

However, Jamaica has taken a circuitous route to the Winter Olympics. Only 14 athletes from three sports have represented the Caribbean in the winter Games. The most well-known of these is the bobsleigh team (1988), which was immortalized in the film Cool Runnings.

Alexander saw the movie when he was a kid. He thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. He was born to a Jamaican father and a British mother, with hardly any Jamaican influence in his life. Years later, he considers that movie to be a huge influence as he tries to write his own story.

He admits that without those forerunners, Jamaica might not have battled in winter sports, and that his journey to the Olympics would be extremely challenging

His story started just over six years ago. Alexander, a 10-year Burning Man festival DJ with an Ibiza residency, had never skied before joining his friends on a trip to Canada in 2015.  He was taken aback by the scenery. Skiing wasn’t on his to-do list at the time, but he knew he “had to do this.”

When he was invited to DJ at a party in Whistler a few months later, he jumped at the chance. He put on his skis for the first time, and it was extremely rough from there. He picked one green run in which he fell more than 27 times. He ended up going to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics as a spectator; his own Paralympic games dream not even a thought at the time. However, it was then that the seed was sown.

It took one more year for that seed to sprout, with a sliver of hope and opportunity to learn from Gordon Gray, a former US skier providing him with a nudge in the appropriate path – and a dose of reality. Gordon used to pull him aside and tell him how his techniques were dreadful. However, he worked hard to improve.  Alexander is now less than two weeks away from making his Olympic debut in speed skating. But first, there’s the trivial issue of qualifying.

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