(AP Photo)

Zimbabwe’s First Winter Olympian

Country's last snow was 30 years before his birth


Zimbabwe hasn’t seen a flake of snow since 1960, but that won’t stop native son Luke Steyn from being the country’s first Winter Olympian.

According to an report, the 20-year-old will make history when he competes in Sochi’s slalom and giant slalom races. Steyn took up skiing on family trips to Europe and honed his skills when he attended the University of Colorado.

“He has had a lot of people wondering how we can produce a world-class skier,” says Kevin Atkinson, the head of the Zimbabwe Snow Sports Association. (Yes, even Zimbabwe has a snow sports association.) “He might not get a gold, but there’s plenty of time.”

Steyn will join athletes from Togo and Morocco in representing Africa at the Sochi Games. As we reported last week, a South African skier also qualified, but his government denied him the privilege of attending.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: AP Photo