Adrian Solano certainly didn’t win any prizes for his performance at the World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland.
But the Venezuelan has won himself an army of fans after his hilarious attempt to qualify for the cross country event, that had him dubbed the ‘world’s worst skier’.
As you can see below, Solano barely got started before a succession of trips and falls plagued his attempt.
Watch the video
What was impressive was Solano’s determination to keep getting up after he had fallen and he said afterwards in an Instagram post that he had tried his hardest.
“Although I did not know the snow and I did not have the opportunity to train here, I am giving my best,” he wrote.
“Maybe I have fallen many times, but what really counts is that I will always continue to rise.”
‘The insult against Venezuelans is absolutely unacceptable’
As news of Solano’s performance quickly went viral, a story of how he was refused entry to France in January emerged.
According to Solano and his team, the skier attempted to enter France in mid-January en route to Sweden for a training camp before the world championships.
But his bid to acclimatise to the European snow hit a snag when border police did not believe his story, he said, leading to his eventual deportation.
He said that cost him a “month of practice on the snow” — something that was clearly evident.
“When I got to Paris on 19 January, I explained that I was on my way to Sweden to train. They did not believe that I ski in Venezuela,” he told Agence-France Presse.
“I told them that we train on wheels. I only had 28 euros with me and the police accused me of trying to immigrate because things were going badly in my country.
“They discriminated against me because of my dress, my face or appearance.”
Solano’s coach, Cesar Baena, said police laughed at him and added: “They said skiing didn’t exist in Venezuela.”
The issue has infuriated Venezuelans, with even senior government officials speaking up on the matter.
The nation’s foreign minister, Mr Delcy Rodriguez, posted on Twitter: “Following instructions by @PresidentMaduro we will deliver a strong protest to the French government for the affront against the Venezuelan athlete.”
In a further tweet, he said that “the insult against Venezuelans is absolutely unacceptable.”