|Birth name||Laurence Thoms|
|Born||March 26, 1980|
Suva, Dominion of Fiji
Laurence Thoms (born March 26, 1980) is a Fijian alpine skier who was born in Suva.He represented Fiji at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and attracted media attention as a competitor from a tropical nation at the Winter Olympics.
Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount. Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited.
Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.
Suva is the capital and largest metropolitan city in Fiji. It is located on the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu, in the Rewa Province, Central Division.
Thoms was Fiji's flag-bearer during the Opening Ceremony, being his country's representative,and was the first Pacific Islander to qualify through FIS regulations for the Winter Games He competed in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. He failed to complete his first run in the Slalom event after 'clipping' a gate, but completed the Giant Slalom and finished fifty-fifth with a time of 2:41.98. Spectators reportedly cheered as they admired the 'Fiji's ice man' competitive speed in the events, and "went crazy when he crossed the finish line".
Pacific Islanders or Pasifikas, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and often ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. These people speak various Austronesian languages. New Zealand has the largest concentration of Pacific Islanders in the world. However, the majority of its people are not identified as Pacific Islanders—instead during the 20th century and into the 21st century the country saw a steady stream of immigration from Polynesian countries such as Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue and French Polynesia.
Alpine skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics consisted of ten events held February 10–23 in the United States near Salt Lake City, Utah. The downhill, super-G, and combined events were held at Snowbasin, the giant slaloms at Park City, and the slaloms at adjacent Deer Valley.
One newspaper described Thoms' participation as exemplifying "the true spirit of the Games".
Before taking part in the Olympics, Thoms had worked as a white water rafting guide and ski instructor in New Zealand.His participation in the Olympics was funded by a retired Swiss businessman living in Fiji, who had founded the Fiji Alpine Ski Association.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central, and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.
Zali Steggall, OAM is an Australian lawyer and former Olympic athlete. She is Australia's most internationally successful alpine skier, winning a bronze medal in slalom at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, and a World Championship gold medal in 1999. In the Winter Olympics she is Australia's first individual medalist, first female medalist, and only medalist in alpine skiing. Steggall's Olympic career extended from Albertville in 1992 to Salt Lake City in 2002. She is an independent candidate for Warringah at the 2019 Australian federal election.
Kyrgyzstan a delegation to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy from 10–26 February 2006. This was Kyrgyzstan's fourth appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The delegation consisted of a single alpine skier, first-time Olympian Ivan Borisov. His best performance was 41st in the men's giant slalom, and he was disqualified from the men's slalom.
Madagascar competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The country's participation at the Games marked its Winter Olympics debut, although it had competed in the Summer Olympics since 1964. The delegation consisted of a single alpine skier, Mathieu Razanakolona, who did not win any medals.
Alpine skiing has been contested at every Winter Olympics since 1936, when a combined event was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Luxembourg competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 13–28 February 1988. It had been 52 years since the last time the nation had participated in the Winter Olympic Games, and Calgary was only their third appearance at a Winter Olympics in history. The Luxembourgian delegation consisted of a single alpine skier, the Austrian-born Marc Girardelli. His best performance was 9th in the downhill race, and Luxembourg did not win any medals at these Olympics.
Luxembourg sent a delegation to compete at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France from 8–23 February 1992. This was Luxembourg's fourth appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The Luxembourgian delegation to Albertville consisted of a single athlete, alpine skier Marc Girardelli. He won two silver medals at these Olympics, which placed Luxembourg 17th on the medal table.
Luxembourg sent a delegation to compete at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway from 12–27 February 1994. The nation was making its fifth appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The Luxembourgian delegation to Lillehammer consisted of a single athlete, alpine skier Marc Girardelli. His best performance in any event was fourth in the Super-G; he also finished fifth in the downhill and ninth in the combined. As well, he failed to finish the giant slalom, and was disqualified from the slalom.
The Philippines sent a delegation to compete at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France from 8–23 February 1992. This was the nation's third appearance at the Winter Olympic Games. The delegation consisted of a single athlete, alpine skier Michael Teruel. He competed in both the giant slalom, where he finished in 71st, and in the slalom, in which he finished in 49th.
Andorra sent a delegation to compete at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, United States from 8–24 February 2002. This was Andorra's seventh consecutive appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The Andorran delegation consisted of three alpine skiers; Victor Gómez, Alex Antor, and Vicky Grau. Their best performance in any event was 24th place by Grau in the women's slalom.
San Marino sent a delegation to compete at the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States from 8–24 February 2002. This was the nation's sixth appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The delegation consisted of a single athlete, alpine skier Gian Matteo Giordani. In his race, the giant slalom, he finished in last place of those who finished the course at 57th.
Fiji sent a delegation to compete at the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States from February 8–24, 2002. This was the nation's third appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The delegation consisted of a single athlete, alpine skier Laurence Thoms. He competed in both the slalom, where he failed to complete his first run, and in the giant slalom, in which he finished 55th out of the 57 skiers who successfully completed both of their runs. Thoms gained media attention for representing a tropical nation at the Winter Olympics.
Tajikistan sent a delegation to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, United States, held 8–24 February 2002. This was Tajikistan's first time participating in a Winter Olympic Games. The country sent one representative, alpine skier Andrey Drygin. He failed to finish either of his events.
Andrei Drygin,, is a Tajik alpine skier.
The Cayman Islands sent a delegation to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, held between 12–28 February 2010. The territory made its debut at the Winter Olympics, sending one athlete, alpine skier Dow Travers. Travers entered the men's giant slalom and finished in 69th place.
Lebanon sent a delegation to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from 12–28 February 2010. This was Lebanon's 15th appearance at a Winter Olympic Games. The Lebanese team consisted of three alpine skiers. Lebanon has never won a medal at a Winter Olympics, and their best performance in Vancouver was 37th in the women's super-G by Chirine Njeim; Ghassan Achi failed to post a result in either of his races, and Jacky Chamoun finished 54th in her only race.
Peru sent a delegation to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from 12–28 February 2010. This marked Peru's debut at the Winter Olympics. The Peruvian delegation consisted of three athletes: two alpine skiers—Manfred Oettl Reyes and Ornella Oettl Reyes—and the cross-country skier Roberto Carcelen. The nation's best performance in any event was 67th place in the men's giant slalom alpine skiing event by Manfred Oettl Reyes.
Pakistan competed in the Winter Olympic Games for the first time at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Pakistani skier Muhammad Abbas raced in the men's giant slalom, placing 79th. Abbas was also the country's flag bearer in the opening and closing ceremonies.
A women's slalom event was held at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway as part of the alpine skiing programme.
Thailand competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia from 7 to 23 February 2014. The Thai team consisted of two athletes, Vanessa Vanakorn and Kanes Sucharitakul, both competing in alpine skiing. This was Thailand's third appearance at a Winter Olympic Games, and their first since 2006, having missed the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Dinos Lefkaritis is a Cypriot alpine skier who represented the Republic of Cyprus in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.