Benjamin Alexander has lived a hedonistic lifestyle - and there are no signs of that stopping. The former international DJ will now be able to call himself an Olympian, and Jamaica’s first alpine skier to go to a Games, less than six years after trying the sport for the first time.
The 38-year-old British-born athlete secured his place at Beijing 2022 when he achieved the minimum qualifying criteria at an event in Liechtenstein on Thursday.
Despite being ranked 4722nd in the world, Alexander, who grew up in Northamptonshire before a career in wealth finance saw him transition into becoming a top DJ, benefitted from the International Olympic Committee giving all nations a chance to reach the Games in each sport on lower qualifying standards.
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“I set out with a crazy plan, which seemed crazy to most but I broke it down and I thought it was totally achievable. What was crazy is trying to execute this plan under the duress of the pandemic,” Alexander told Eurosport.
“It’s the realisation of a crazy dream come true. I'm not that much of an emotional person, but I just have this beautiful feeling inside of me of a plan executed, and a plan that has successfully come to fruition.
It may seem crazy, but immediately afterwards, I was thinking about what would be the next fun thing that would seem outlandish that I could do in life. I'm really not finished.
“What do we do next? What is the thing that everyone will tell you, it's not possible that in a few years after concocting the idea, you can sit here very happily and say no, if you work hard enough, and you dream big enough, crazy things can happen.”
Alexander has had sponsors come on board to help fund his “crazy” dream, but he has also had to work incredibly hard to achieve it. While he admits he is no-where near the same league as the elite skiers, he is still far better than your average - the qualifying times are what they are for a reason.
He is realistic about what to expect when he gets to Beijing next month, but it is clear the plan is to have a blast - but with a purpose.
“I've said many times along the way, I don't want to take anything away from the expertise, the physical talent, hard work and determination that these elite athletes have put in, to get to that platform,” said Alexander.
“It just so happens that by virtue of the IOC's determination to have diversity, equality and representation at the Games, that I have the opportunity to do this.
I am not going to come anywhere near these guys - if I can finish within 20 seconds of the gold medal guy, per run that is, then that will be a job well done.
“Realistically, my job is about going to the opening ceremony, having a good time and showing other Jamaicans, other minorities, other people who didn't start skiing at the age of two, that crazy things can happen and dreams can come true.
“I've already identified the next generation of Jamaican athletes that will be representing our country in 2026. That's what this story is about.
“I don't want to take anything away from those kids that have been busting their butts since before they understood the world, but it's going to be such a pleasure to be there with the best.”
Once all the media hype has turned down, Alexander says it will time to get “really serious”. But with just three weeks to go until the opening ceremony, the Games already has a story which will be tough to beat.
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