JAMAICA'S 1ST OLYMPIC ALPINE SKIER
In the making
Benjamin Alexander spent the majority of the last decade on the road as an esteemed international DJ, resident for the quintessential Burning Man brand; Robot Heart. After retiring from nightlife in late 2018 his mind shifted to what challenge would motivate and drive the next chapter of his life. Obviously, it would be ski racing at the Olympics, right?
A late-comer to skiing, starting at the age of 32, Benjamin went full force on his deep dive into the sport. His first lesson on a mountain was in 2016, but it was 2018 where he got the opportunity to ski a dozen mountains on three continents, both hemispheres, and be a spectator at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea when things clicked. Noticing that his father's nation of Jamaica had only three athletes in attendance for the games, and no skiers, a kernel of an idea was formed.
In January of 2019 Benjamin moved to Revelstoke, BC, Canada for six weeks of training and left that period with a "decade's worth of skiing under his belt!" Not only did he ski over 1200 miles, over 1.7 million vertical feet, and set a mountain record for the most vertical feet skied in a single day (103,351') but most importantly he built the confidence in the feasibility of his lofty goal of getting to the next winter Olympics in 2022 as the first alpine skier to represent Jamaica.
Benjamin has been based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming since October and literally skied every day, 181 days in and counting. Even after the chairs stopped spinning in mid-March, Benjamin shifted his passion into the backcountry and continued skiing with human-powered ascents, climbing the sum total of ten Mount Everests - almost 300,000 vertical feet. Extreme levels of fitness and endurance have been the silver lining of his quarantine period.
In the shortened 2019/2020 season Benjamin was only able to get to six races but was still able to already get his points halfway to those required for Olympic qualification. At this rate, qualification should be well within the trajectory set by Benjamin's performance and achievements thus far.