Haitian sets up own federation to race in Worlds

Jean-Pierre Roy, a 47-year-old Haitian IT specialist, will become his country's first representative in the Alpine skiing World Championships in the next two weeks.
By Reuters | Posted: Feb 4, 11:40a ET | Updated: Feb 4, 11:59a ET
PARIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) -- A 47-year-old Haitian, who will become his country's first representative in the Alpine skiing world championships in the next two weeks, is fine-tuning his technique in a French suburban yard with not a slope or a flake of snow in sight.
Jean-Pierre Roy, an IT specialist west of Paris, is ready to replicate the 1988 Olympic Jamaican bobsledders from the film "Cool Runnings" by putting the scorching Caribbean back on the winter sports map.
"I have always thought about Haiti and I have a passion for skiing," Roy, who left the island nation for Europe when he was young, told Reuters.
"I thought why not compete in the World Championships?"
Already impoverished Haiti was rocked by an earthquake last year which killed more than 300,000 people and a cholera epidemic has complicated relief efforts during a time of political turmoil.
Seeing such misery gave the amateur slalom and giant slalom specialist the idea of racing in Garmisch Partenkirchen from Feb. 7-20 to boost coverage of his nation's problems, even if he has only entered a handful of ski competitions in the past.
Nicknamed "Rasta Piquet" for attempting his calypso-ski dream, Roy had to legally set up a Haitian ski federation to register for the worlds and is the organisation's only member.
"I want to help my country through skiing and sport," he added before gyrating on a peculiar ski-training machine.