The 43-year-old alpine skier was one of the highlights of Friday’s opening ceremony as he entertained the crowd with an exuberant flagbearing entrance.
It had been reported that he had suffered a brain tumour at the age of eight, when doctors gave him only three months to live, but the Olympic News Service has announced that this information is incorrect.
With the paralysation of the stock markets I became unemployed, so I said to myself, ‘This is the moment to fulfil my dream
José Antonio Pardo
Pardo’s biography, taken from an article published in a Venezuelan newspaper, actually confused him with para-cross country skier Antonio Pardo Andrade.
Nonetheless, Pardo still has a fascinating story to tell as he only began taking part in official ski races last year, after becoming unemployed.
The father of two, who is now president of the Venezuelan Ski Federation, admits that the chance to compete at the Winter Games is a dream come true.
“Before I didn’t have neither the time nor the resources, I had to work,” he said.
“With the paralysation of the stock markets I became unemployed, so I said to myself, ‘This is the moment to fulfil my dream.'”
Pardo becomes the fifth Venezuelan to represent his country at the Winter Olympics after lugers Ilginia Boccalandro, Julio Cesar Camacho, Chris Hoeger and Werner Hoeger.
Samsung are a proud partner of Team GB and are supporting the Samsung Galaxy Team. To meet the team, see exclusive content and win amazing prizes, including once-in-a-lifetime winter sport training sessions with the Samsung Galaxy Team athletes, visit: www.samsung.com/uk/sochi2014
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