Mexican skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe probably won’t win a medal in Sochi. But everyone will be talking about what he’s wearing, which in this age of instant celebrity makes him a winner already.
The 55-year-old Olympian will compete in the men’s slalom wearing a mariachi-themed race suit. He’ll look like he’s tearing down the slopes in a bolero jacket, ruffled shirt, red tie and cummerbund.
Because of that and his colorful background, NBC has already tagged him “the most interesting Olympian in the world.”
He’s also the only athlete representing Mexico at the games.
This isn’t the first time he's made a fashion statement on the slopes. At the 2010 games in Vancouver his custom race suit looked like the get-up of a Mexican desperado, bandolier and all.
This will be his sixth, and perhaps, last time competing at the games, where he’s never finished higher than 26th in any event.
He goes by Prince Hubertus because he’s descended from a German royal family. (Deadspin helpfully points out that the family hasn’t existed for 208 years. Minor technicality.)
The prince grew up in Austria and lives there, but can compete for Mexico because he was born in Mexico City.
“Until I went to Mexico recently to make a documentary, I never realized what a beautiful, amazing, rich past and culture they have and what a proud people they are,” he told NBC.
“It actually moved me to see how much they suffered and how much they fought for what they have. The power to have your own identity is so strong and something I believe in so I want to give it a go in a very cool, elegant way. I want to celebrate who they are, but of course in my own style.”
He’s also told NBC, which will broadcast the games, that they can call him “the Mariachi Olympic Prince.”