Having founded the British Virgin Island Ski Association, halfpipe skier Peter Adam Crook is only the second person to represent the Caribbean territory at the Winter Games.
“Competing in Sochi has become such a big goal of mine over the last few years,” says the 21-year-old Caribbean skier. Although he started skiing in 2001, the absence of a National ski federation in the British Virgin Islands meant that Crook could not compete on the international scene. With the help of his father, Crook persuaded the British Virgin Islands to sanction the creation of a ski federation to allow him pursue his dream of a Olympic Winter Games participation.
“We had to explain exactly what ski halfpipe was,” said Crook, who now spends most of his time training on the snowy slopes in Utah rather than on the sandy beaches of the British Virgin Islands.
Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that athletes with talent have an equal chance of reaching the Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees’ (NOCs’) share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. The current quadrennial plan, which runs from 2013 to 2016, has a development and assistance budget of USD 438 million – an increase of nearly 40% on the 2009-2012 budget. This is the second time that Winter Games athletes have received Individual Olympic Scholarships following the successful debut of the programme in the build-up to Vancouver in 2010, when 325 athletes (193 men and 132 women) from 60 NOCs benefited from Solidarity funding. Of these, 227 athletes qualified for the Games, winning 13 medals between them.