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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Mexico goes for gold with Día de Muertos ski outfits

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
Mexico’s ski team is wearing uniforms honoring the Day of the Dead. Photo: Hubertus von Hohenlohe

The Olympics’ flag ceremony is over, but the parade of costumes is still on if Mexico’s ski delegation has anything to say about it.

Rodolfo Dickson and Sarah Schleper are each competing in striking, custom-made Día de Muertos-inspired suits designed by Hubertus von Hohenlohe – a German prince and pop singer who represented Mexico at six Winter Games.

It’s enough to make the Internet forget about that shirtless guy from Tonga in the grass skirt.

Von Hohenlohe, 59, was born in Mexico while his father ran a Volkswagen plant. He tried and failed to become this year’s oldest Olympian, but he managed to be part of the scene in South Korea.

His head-turning suits are mainly black but littered with large, unmissable colorful skulls, certainly the most unique uniform seen on the slopes in Pyeong Chang.

“Everyone else should just go home now because the Mexican alpine ski team just won the entire Olympics with these uniforms alone,” commented one fan on Twitter.

Von Hohenlohe dressed like a mariachi when he competed in 2014. Racing down the Rosa Khutor in Sochi, his outfit was trimmed with a black bolero jacket, ruffled tuxedo shirt, red tie and cummerbund, and designs down the legs surrounding the initials “MEX.”

Four years earlier, in Vancouver, he wore a “Mexicano desperado” race suit, complete with bullet straps and pistoleros, and another time, he donned an environmentally themed race suit encouraging people to recycle.

But this time, he said that it was important for him to portray an image of elegance while also celebrating Mexican culture .

“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 Sports. “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.”

The skiers are representing Mexico, but don’t live there. Dickson was born in the country but was adopted by Canadian parents; Schleper is from the United States, but is married to a Mexican citizen and has dual citizenship.

With information from the Washington Post, NBC, Remezcla

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