My Idol: Elizabeth Swaney

I’d like to tell you about someone who actually took one of these crazy ideas and did it, Elizabeth Swaney, freestyle skier at the Olympics. It has always been a dream of mine to be in the Olympics, despite only being semi-athletic. I guess Swaney had the same idea. Though not quite as talented as the other competitors in the event, Swaney is an Olympian. During the event she simply skied down the half pipe, no tricks, no nothing.

How did she even get there? She qualified by attending qualifying events and simply not falling, this way she would place ahead of those who fell on all of their runs. Secondly, she represented Hungary instead of the United States. Since countries are allocated a limited number of slots, only the top few from each country could attend. These factors combined gave her enough ranking to be invited. The last thing to consider is that she basically bankrolled this entire stunt. Attending events in far away countries and getting citizenship isn’t cheap.

I love this story, she is my favorite Olympian and a fellow Harvard alum. I’ve always dreamed that one day if I became rich enough I’d try to get in for equestrian, shooting, or karate kata. Realistically I won’t be rich for quite a bit of time so I chose events where older people could keep up. I’ll keep you all posted on these endeavors…

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