Thursday, January 28, 2010

ski like a girl: Ethiopian Olympian, Robel Teklemariam is skiing for the world

The goal of Panasonic's One Winter, Five Dreams project is to bring a group of lesser known Olympic hopefuls together with bloggers around the world. The goal of the bloggers is to draw attention to each of the athletes. To support them and cheer them on as they work towards achieving their Olympic dreams. To open the world's eyes and hearts to their struggles, hardships, and ultimate success' of each these athletes.

Robel Telkelmariam may have started out as on unknown but he is far from unknown now. He may be considered a one man show. The sole member of the Ethiopian Ski Team but he is far from alone. Thanks to Panasonic's One Winter, Five Dreams project Robel has the support of world behind him now.

How it all began:

Robel moved to New York City from Ethiopia at age 8. When he is 12 his mother is transferred to North Korea and Robel in enrolled in a boarding school in upstate New York. It is here near Lake Placid, that he is introduced to a new sport. One of the graduation requirements was that everyone had to learn how to ski. Robel was intrigued by skiing from the start. His coach says, " He just dived into it fully and spent really every waking moment that he could skiing." Robel continues to ski, earning a scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. He knew he was capable of competing at an Olympic level but his country had no winter Olympics committee, no ski team. After a 3 year effort Robel successfully establishes a Skiing Federation in Ethiopia.

Check out this New York Times video interview before 2006 Olympics.

Is he going for the Gold?

Robel's not in it for the medal but to show that anything is possible. He is skiing for the future of his country. Robel says it's,"for that one kid that is possibly going to see him skiing for Ethiopia and get inspired. Maybe that's the kid that will bring back the medal for Ethiopia."

Robel doesn't want to be the last Ethiopian to compete in the Winter Olympics. He hopes that there will be more and more Ethiopians competing for the gold. Robel has opened the door for other Ethiopians interested in skiing.

"Endurance sports are what Ethiopians are good at we are born and raised at high altitude. I think if you get an Ethiopian that starts cross country ski racing when he's young, you know maybe 8, 9 years old I really don't see any reason why they cannot be winning medals."

How can you help?

Go to Robel's blog at One Winter, Five Dreams take a few moments to read through the comments. You will find, like I have that Robel isn't just skiing to inspire that kid back in Ethiopia, he is skiing for the world. He has supporters from Canada, United States, New Zealand, and Sweden. If you check his facebook fan page you will find more of his international appeal.

Robel says.

"Thank you all so much for your support. I guess I am not just skiing just for Ethiopia anymore. I will have to be skiing for all of you as well. You best wishes drive me even harder in my trainings so I can get a better result at the Games."

His fans include family member, former ski student, soccer buddies, and people from around the world who are inspired by his story. His dedication to his sport, and his country has lead to a world wide base of fans that are following his story all the way to Vancouver. Please join in and support Robel as he makes his Olympic dreams come true. Follow his blog, become a facebook fan, and share your messages of support and encouragement.

Remember Robel is skiing for the world! Join ski like a girl in cheering him on as he creates history.


ski girl

p.s.It's not too late to win a trip to the Olympics. Only 3 days left to enter. Panasonic's One Winter, Five Dreams Gold Blogger contest. ski like a girl has entered! Share in the passion and excitement of the 2010 Winter games!

Posted via web from ski like a girl's posterous

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