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Skiers to represent Dominica in Sochi

Published:Tuesday | January 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC):

Dominica will join Caribbean counterparts Jamaica at next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation confirmed that Jamaica have qualified for the two-man bobsleigh competition in Sochi.

Now, media reports state that a husband-wife ski team will represent Dominica at the 2014 Games, scheduled from February 7-27.

However, the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC) is expected to confirm the island's participation and participants this week.

United States-based Gary di Silvestri and his Italian-born wife Angelica Morrone di Silvestri have confirmed that they will represent Dominica at the Games. They both met qualifying standards late in the game - he on the slopes of Montana and she a couple of days later far away in Maine last weekend.

They have been told that they represent the first husband-wife team ever competing in the same Olympics event - Gary in the men's 15-kilometre classical race and Angelica in the women's 10-kilometre classical race.

The di Silvestris gained Dominican citizenship through their philanthropic activities in Dominica and other Caribbean islands.

philanthropic activities

"We got involved with the country through philanthropic activities," said di Silvestri, who lists Dominica as their primary residence, "and that's how we ended up being offered citizenship, a kind of a thank you."

Gary di Silvestri has USA, Italian, and Dominica citizenship. His wife is a citizen of Italy and Dominica.

When the International Olympic Committee contacted Dominica, which has never entered an athlete in the Winter Olympics, about possible participation at Sochi, the di Silvestris were recommended. They had been on the competitive skiing circuit for many years and attended ski camps in Oregon since 2005.