"easiest" way to qualify for winter Olympics

Inspired by a few stories heard while watching the winter Olympics. There was a female slolam skier with a ranking over 2,000, from a non-traditional winter sporting country (Thailand?) who qualified for the Olympics. There was also a male cross country skier from Peru (?) with a very high world ranking. Nevertheless, they both qualified for the Olympics. I remember that after Eddie the Eagle from 1988 Calgary Olympics, requirements were tightened up, but seems like there are still some loopholes. So my question is: assuming I could get citizenship of a country whose Olympic committee would be willing to send me (perhaps aided by a generous donation :smiley: ), what’s the “easiest” sport in which to qualify ? Let’s also assume I am willing to do some cardio training, but I otherwise do not have any outstanding sport specific skills (ie: I am not a gymnast and can’t do flips and twists to compete in the ski aerials). Note: I am not asking about competing for a medal, I just to qualify assuming no one else from my country is involved in that sport.

Curling would be my goal.

Curling wouldn’t work because the OP specifies, “no one else from my country is involved in that sport.”

Curling doesn’t work because there are a limited number of teams (I think just 10). So even if I’m the best curler in my non-traditional winter country (perhaps the only curler), I’d still have to rank in the top 10 in the world to qualify.

Next ?

Well, there’s that and there’s the fact that it’s a team sport.

I’d be willing to “sponsor” enough fellow citizens to enter a team sport, but with most Olympic team sports, there are only a limited number of spots. So even if I could get a team together, we wouldn’t likely be able to qualify “easily”.

If someone can find the pre-Olympic results – what races did the Peruvian cross country skier enter, and what were his results (position and time) ?

There were stories about the men’s Tae Kwan Do team, when TKD was a demonstration sport at the Olympics (Seoul?), who placed very highly in spite of only having been studying TKD for about 6 months. They were actually a soccer team, but they knew they weren’t good enough to make the Olympic soccer team, so they started studying TKD, figured out they could do it, tried out and got in. The IOC was not too impressed.

Regarding the TKD team … from which country ?

Also, the host country is allowed to enter every competition, but let’s assume I do not want to take advantage of that way to qualify.

Moved to the Game Room.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

You would need at least one teammate, but I understand bobsled is *relatively *easy to pick up. If you must go solo and/or have a death wish, possibly luge or skeleton would work.

RE: luge and bobsled - what exactly do you need to do to qualify ? I would expect there are a limited number of spots available and you would need a certain world ranking to qualify. How many international competitions would I need to enter, and what results do I need to achieve ? Also, from what I understand, steering a bobseld/luge/skeleton takes years of practice unless you want to slide down on the track upside down.

this explains a bit about qualifying for slalom and G-slalom

I’m pretty sure every country (that’s a FIS member) can enter one skier in a men’s event (almost always the slalom, as it’s the shortest and safest). There were 116 entries in this year’s mens event, including from East Timor, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.

Too bad Jamaica already has a bobsled team.

Even though each country is allowed to send one slalom skier, that skier must have a minimum number of “FIS points” for slalom, and “FIS distance points” for cross country to be allowed to compete. I can’t seem to find any rules about how these points are awarded and how difficult it is to achieve the minimum number of points. For slalom, it seems that if you need to finish within “X” seconds of the winning time, you get “Y” points. So, it’s not just a matter of showing up and making it down the course. See the article I linked to above - she raced in 5 ‘recognized’ races, and earned more than 140 points (however, it’s not clear how hard it is to earn these points).

Even though there are jokes about the Jamaican bobsled team, they didn’t just purchase a sled and show up at the Olympics. There is some qualifying standard that is required. My question is: which sport has the “easiest” qualifying standards ?

Qualifying for the Cross Country skiing in the winter olympics seems pretty easy if you can find an appropriate country. Basically you just have to compete in a few FIS events and you’re in.

Still not entirely sure how points are calculated, but looks like the key is to race against the weakest field in a recognized event. Looks like Vanessa skied in the several Slovenian races (one race only had 8 skiers, the other had 7), she finished last in both and got 131 and 137 points. Looks like fewer points are better, so this is under the 140 points required to qualify.

http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/athlete-biography.html?sector=AL&competitorid=168683&type=result

Here’s the Peruvian skier’s results:
http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&competitorid=136231&raceid=22311
Looks like a similar strategy. Although he was 104th out of 110 at the Canadian National Ski event, he got 236 points (which is good enough to be under the cross country limit of max. 300)

Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg has been competing for Mexico in the winter Olympics, on and off, since 1984. In an interview he gave to a German newspaper some days ago, he explained that the International Ski Federation FIS is trying hard to make it increasingly difficult for “exotic” competitors to qualify for the winter Olympics by constantly changing and tightening the rules. von Hohenlohe had to compete in FIS-sanctioned, minor competitions in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Sweden and other places.

This guy is actually a very decent skier, having spent parts of his youth in Austria and Liechtenstein.

Here is the official description of how points are calculated.

Here are the qualifying rules.

If I am reading the qualifying rules right, the 140 point maximum (not minimum; in skiing, having fewer points is better) appears to apply only in a case where a country has one or more skiers of one sex in the top 500 but none of the other. However, there is a cap of 320 alpine skiers, and that is based on points, so it’s not simply a question of “show up in some tropical country and you can get in.” (Here’s a surprise: Belgium did not receive any entries.)

Regarding Belgium, I’m assuming that they decided not to nominate athletes for the Olympics in alpine skiing even though some individual athletes may have met the FIS criteria and there were spots available:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium_at_the_2014_Winter_Olympics#Alpine_skiing