Tropical nations at the Winter Olympics

Tropical Nations At The Winter Olympics

Tropical nations at the Winter Olympics

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Although traditionally associated with cold weather nations, the Winter Olympics have also had participation from several tropical nations. The typical climate of these nations is not conducive to participation in winter sports, and no Winter Olympic medals have ever been won by a tropical nation. Probably because of that, their entries are a subject of human interest stories during the Games.

The first participation of a warm weather nation in the Winter Games was Mexico. Much of Mexico is at a latitude north of the Tropic of Cancer, and most of the country has a desert or semi-arid climate, so it is not exclusively a tropical nation. Nonetheless, Mexico made its Winter debut at the 1928 Winter Olympics with a five-man bobsleigh team that finished eleventh of twenty-three entrants. Mexico did not return again to the Winter Games until 1984.

The first truly tropical nation to compete in the Winter Olympic Games is the Philippines, who sent two alpine skiers to the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. Ben Nanasca placed 42nd in the giant slalom event (out of 73 entrants), but Juan Cipriano did not finish. In the slalom event, neither skier was able to finish.Costa Rica became the second tropical nation to participate at the Winter Games, in 1980 at Lake Placid, New......
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