Meet Mexico’s entire downhill team: A German prince who skis in a mariachi suit
The Jamaican bobsled team got plenty of attention going into the Sochi Olympics as the return of the ultimate underdog team. But Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg—the one-man team for Mexico’s downhill skiing competition, puts them to shame when it comes to great Olympic underdog stories.
Nicknamed “The Royal Disaster,” Prince Hubertus is a legitimate Prince of what was formerly a principality of Germany. The son of Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, he was born in Mexico, where he still retains citizenship—though he only lived there full-time until he was about four. After that Hubertus’s family moved to Austria and he grew up mostly in Vienna, where he learned to ski.
He might not have been good enough to compete in the Olympics alongside his fellow Austrians—which is where his Mexican citizenship came in handy. At just twenty-two Hohenlohe founded the Mexican Ski Federation and three years later competed in the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo as the sole skier representing the Mexican Olympic Committee.
Over the next 30 years, along with developing a career as a photographer, pop singer, and all kinds of other miscellaneous activities that give him a pretty convincing claim to the mantle of “most interesting man in the world,” Prince Hubertus competed in the Olympics three more times, including in Salt Lake City in 2010, where he was the oldest Olympian at the games, and this year in Sochi, where he’s certainly the oldest again at age 54.
Prince Hubertus might not medal at the Games (he came in 78th and 46th respectively in the two events he competed in in 2010) but he makes his presence known by skiing in this distinctive mariachi body suit:
The prince is fluent in several languages. He also has his own website, which you owe it to yourself to check out. Below, watch a video of the one-man Mexican ski team on a photo shoot in Sochi.