Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe is the definition of a Renaissance man. Besides being, well, a certified prince, von Hohenlohe is also a pop singer, a photographer, and oh yeah, a world class skier.
Sochi will be his fifth Winter Olympic games. He will be competing in Alpine skiing in the slalom event.
He was just 25-years-old when he competed in his first Winter Olympics, the Sarajevo Games in 1984. This year Von Hohenlohe will ski his way into a different kind of Olympic record as the second oldest winter Olympian in history. He turns 55 this Sunday.
“But I’m not an Olympic tourist, that’s for sure,” said von Hohenlohe. “I was fifth in one World Cup Race in 1982. I had some good results in the beginning. Obviously I didn’t want to train as hard as everyone else did or my life would’ve been one-dimensional.”
His life is anything but one-dimensional. Born in Mexico, the prince actually spent much of his youth in Europe. After a stint in the Spanish island of Marbella his father encouraged him to stay away from the jet-set lifestyle. The young von Hohenlohe was sent to schools in Austria where he watched ski racing on TV and fell in love with the sport.
“I got into buying myself the skis, getting into ski clubs and from there I went on and on.”
In 1981, the prince was good enough to start competing internationally. In order to qualify for the World Cup games, he returned to his birthplace of Mexico and started the Mexican Ski Federation.
“Everyone thinks that I was skiing just collect Olympic starts but it’s not like that. I ski because I love to ski and the Olympics came along the way,” said von Hohenlohe.
As he’s gotten older his skiing is no longer placing him among the leading competitors, but his style has been placing him in the limelight.
For the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, von Hohenlohe hit the slopes in a “desperado” speedsuit suit complete with the depiction of a pistol and ammo belts that crossed his chest.
This Olympic games he’s taken it up a notch, if you can imagine, and plans to wear a speedsuit designed to look like the charro outfit worn by mariachi performers (as you can see in the picture above).
“The idea was that I was combing the folkloric touch of Mexico with the elegant look of a prince on the hills who isn’t necessarily the fastest or strongest, but kind of the most stylish one,” said von Hohenlohe. “I read somewhere that style would be remembered long after results are forgotten, so this is my motto.”