A Venezuelan athlete who had never worn skis or trained on snow has achieved his dream of competing in the world ski championships. 

Adrian Solano wobbled, rolled and slid down the cross-country course at the 2017 Nordic Skiing World Championships in Finland as commentators looked on aghast and dubbed him the "worst skier alive".  

The Venezuelan had only trained on wheels in the sun, after being denied entry to France by airport officials in Paris who did not believe his story and thought he was simply trying to escape his country. 

He only made it to Finland in time after supporters crowdfunded a last-minute flight.

Mr Solano failed to finish the first 10km race, completing the first 3.5km in the time it took the other competitors to finish the entire course. But the 22-year-old managed to complete the 1.6km race, finishing dead last. 

“I achieved a dream,” he told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. “From here to the Olympics!”

Aside from entertaining viewers, Mr Solano's adventure on the slopes has also caused a minor diplomatic incident, after Venezuela's foreign minister said that the country would be issuing a "strong statement" criticising France for its "affront against a Venezuelan athlete". 

'From here to the Olympics!': Adrian Solano. Photo: Reuters'From here to the Olympics!': Adrian Solano. Photo: Reuters

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us