Laurence Thoms

Last updated
Laurence Thoms
Personal information
Birth name Laurence Thoms
Nationality Fijian
Born (1980-03-26) March 26, 1980 (age 38)
Suva, Dominion of Fiji
Sport
Country Fiji
Sport Alpine skiing

Laurence Thoms (born March 26, 1980) is a Fijian alpine skier who was born in Suva. [1] 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. [2]

Fiji Country in Oceania

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 Sport of skiing downhill

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 Place in Viti Levu, Fiji

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, [3] and was the first Pacific Islander to qualify through FIS regulations for the Winter Games [4] [5] [6] He competed in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. [7] He failed to complete his first run in the Slalom event after 'clipping' a gate, [8] [9] but completed the Giant Slalom and finished fifty-fifth with a time of 2:41.98. [10] 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". [11]

Pacific Islander indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands

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 2002 edition of the alpine skiing competitions during the Olympic Winter Games

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". [12]

Before taking part in the Olympics, Thoms had worked as a white water rafting guide and ski instructor in New Zealand. [13] His participation in the Olympics was funded by a retired Swiss businessman living in Fiji, who had founded the Fiji Alpine Ski Association. [14]

New Zealand Country in Oceania

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 federal republic in Central Europe

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.

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