Luke Steyn Zimbabwe`s First Winter Games Olympian.

4 years ago by in Lifestyle, Sports, Zimbabwean Urban Culture

20-year-old skier Luke Steyn, will become the first ever Zimbabwean to compete in the Winter Olympic Games when he steps out at Sochi 2014.

Steyn qualified to represent Zimbabwe in Alpine Skiing, where he will compete in two events, the Giant Salom and Slalom on February 19 and 22 respectively.

Steyn was born in Harare but his family moved to Switzerland when he was two. Moving to Europe at an early age, Luke started his skiing career in European skiing academies and eventually moved on to the University of Colorado in the US.

He is excited to be a part of his country’s history in Sochi, although he has moved from Zimbabwe, he still feels a very strong connection to his native country.

Backed by Zimbabwe’s recently formed snow sports group and the national sports council, he said he drove about 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) through France, Italy and Switzerland in 20 days to gather enough points in his events to make the grade for Sochi before the Jan. 19 cutoff for qualifying.

There were also weather problems in Europe, where poor snowfalls affected his schedule almost every day. Once again, Steyn was left chasing the snow.

“It has been a case of readjusting to the European winter where races have been tougher and there have been a large amount of athletes at the races that haven’t been canceled,” Steyn said.

When it comes to the country of his birth, Steyn’s skiing has taken him further away from Zimbabwe, yet he said he’s dedicated to his home country and will return.

“Africa is in your blood,” he said.

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