Hubertus von Hohenlohe prepares to wrap up his fifth Olympics skiing for Mexico


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Fifty-one years old, suited up in an Aztec-themed bodysuit, and with the name of Hubertus von Hohenlohe, Mexico’s only athlete in the Vancouver Olympics is perhaps the ‘most interesting man’ in the 2010 Winter Games.

The alpine skier finished 78th (out of 81 competitors) in the men’s giant slalom event this week, and is expected to compete Saturday in the men’s slalom.


Regardless of how he finishes, Von Hohenlohe wins points for his highly unusual biography. The skier was born in Mexico City to German royalty, the son of Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe and Princess Ira Fürstenberg, according to Time magazine. That explains the ‘Prinz’ that officially appears before his name.

This is his fifth Olympics representing Mexico, the first being 1984 in Sarajevo. Von Hohenlohe lists his occupation as ‘artist, businessperson, and photographer’ on the Games’ official site, and as The Times’ Chris Dufresne writes, ‘Von Hohenlohe lives in Vienna, and spends only two or three weeks a year in Mexico, but that’s not really the point, is it?’

Indeed. Von Hohenlohe has generated buzz over his unique look on the slopes -- a brightly colored bodysuit decorated in Mesoamerican-like patterns and an imprint of bandoleers and guns -- making a nod, presumably, to the Mexican Revolution.

‘I think I won for artistic impression,’ the skier said. ‘It’s a pity we get no marks for that, like in figure skating.’

And how are other Latin American countries faring so far in Vancouver?

No medals as of Friday, but perhaps that’s because only five Latin American countries besides Mexico sent athletes to the 2010 Games. Argentina has seven, Brazil has five, Chile has three, Peru has three (including a 16-year-old) and Colombia has one. All but two Latin American athletes in Vancouver are competing in one form of skiing or another.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Hubertus Von Hohenlohe of Mexico reacts after finishing his first run of the men’s giant slalom in Whistler, Canada, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel