We love warm weather Winter Olympians here at Fourth-Place Medal. You already know about the Snow Leopard and Shiva Keshavan. Now, courtesy of Deadspin, comes the story of Roberto Carcelén who definitely deserves to be added to the list.
Carcelén is from Peru, a country whose only other Winter Olympics experience is a group of four snowboarders who didn't register for their events, and his backstory is pretty amazing. And not just the first Winter Olympian from Peru part either. How he got to that point is even more surprising.
It starts with Carcelén deciding to run a marathon in America. Hoping to meet some people in the States, he takes to the Internet, where he strikes up a long-distance instant messaging relationship with an American woman. Soon enough, the marathon plan was history. Carcelén and his future wife Kate finally met in person in March of 2003 and were married by July. Then she introduced him to skiing.
An avid surfer and runner in Peru, Carcelén had never skied before. However, after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics, Carcelén hatched a plan to become the first Peruvian in Winter Olympics history. After four years and roughly $60,000 out of pocket, Carcelén is set to follow through on his plan, where he'll walk in the Opening Ceremony as Peru's first and only Winter Olympian.
Not bad for a South American surfer.