Mexico’s Olympic ski team in PyeongChang may be small, but it is mighty. That will happen when Death is your companion on the slopes.
The country’s two Alpine skiers in the Winter Games are wearing fabulous outfits that carry a “Day of the Dead” theme, an homage to the country’s famous Dia de los Muertos, a holiday on which families and friends pray for and remember those who have died.
The outfits, which feature colorful, bejeweled and beflowered skulls on a black background, follow in the proud tradition of Hubertus von Hohenlohe, 59, who designed them and represented Mexico in six Winter Games. In Sochi in 2014, von Hohenlohe memorably wore a mariachi outfit, and in Vancouver in 2010, he went with a desperado look.
Von Hohenlohe also happens to be a prince as well as a skier, photographer, businessman, and a pop singer known as Andy Himalaya and Royal Disaster. His family reigned over a principality in what is now the northeastern of Baden-Württemberg in Germany until the early 19th century and he spends most of his time in Europe. He was eligible to compete for Mexico because he was born while his father, Prince Alfonso, was running a Volkswagen plant there; he failed in his attempt to become the oldest winter Olympian this year.
Rodolfo Dickson and Sarah Schleper are Mexico’s two competitors. Dickson was adopted from a Puerto Vallarta orphanage by Canadian parents and Schleper, who is from Vail and has competed for the United States, is married to a Mexican citizen and has dual citizenship.
“I don’t live in Mexico but I am very proud of the place where I was born,” Dickson told USA Today. “I really want to start something new. There are a lot of young guys in Colorado who could represent Mexico, so in a few years I hope there will be a big team and athletes capable of being really successful.”
That blurring of boundaries led Von Hohenlohe to write “Austin,” a protest song about President Trump’s stance on securing the Mexico-U. S. border even as he sends a message about Mexico’s individuality with the skiers’ outfits.
“I am having a go at the idea that Trump is trying to build a wall and put a boundary between Mexico and the United States,” he told USA Today. “We go to the Olympics and [it’s] all peace and cheesy and ‘how much we love each other.’ And [yet] there is this very barbarian thing of putting up a wall. So, I made a song and it is coming out on exactly the day that we walk into the [Opening Ceremonies] of the Olympic Games.”
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