Victor White is aiming to write another chapter of local sporting history, as he plans to become the first Barbadian freestyle skier to represent the island in the Winter Olympic Games scheduled for February 2018.
After years of training to become a freeman, exactly one month after leaving Barbados to travel to New Zealand he became the first Bajan and person from the Caribbean to compete in the Slope Style World Cup placing 47th out of 90 competitors, thanks to the Barbados Olympic Association.
However competing in a World Cup match wasn’t enough for the 20-year-old who hails from Jackson St. Michael, he now has his eyes set on the Olympic Games next year.
“I absolutely think I’m going to make it to the Olympics, I have had the talent for some time but then I got injuries. Talent will only take you so far, when you get to the top it’s all about hard work. I admit I have to do but I’m certain I will make it there.
“I’m really trying to qualify for the winter Olympics. I placed 47th in this World Cup and to get in I have to be in the top 30 in two of the four remaining events,” He said.
During a telephone interview, White told Barbados TODAY he felt privileged to be flying the Barbados flag high in a sport that wasn’t popular in the country.
“Being the first Winter Sport athlete to represent Barbados is a great honour and this mission is bigger than myself. I am putting Barbados on the map in the Winter Sport community. I’m out here working hard and setting new boundaries.
“I mean obviously a winter sport isn’t established in Barbados and the Caribbean but I want to establish it. Everyone knows about the Barbadian free skier now because of my achievements and I’m only getting better day by day and my plan is to reach the top and be the best.”
White admitted that his road to New Zealand was rocky, revealing that he had to work extremely hard in obtaining a minimum of 50 points to participate in the World Cup.
“I have had so many challenges. I’m working as hard as I can; it’s a learning curve. We go up to the mountains, and we do big jumps and fly so high in the sky and when you are in the process of learning new tricks most of the times you would crash before you get it. I mean snow is not soft, so it’s all about overcoming, to be mentally strong and become a better skier. So I’m pushing myself to go out of my comfort zone every day.”
Despite facing these difficulties, White is grateful for the encouragement he has been receiving from family and friends back home and looks up to prominent Barbadians who are making their names known internationally.
“I get a lot of support from the island, no one else has the support that I do and it really gives me strength. I fell at the World Cup in the first round and it put massive pressure on my shoulders because you have to wait about an hour before you can go again. On my social media people sent messages and wished me well and from that my second run was nice.
“At the moment there are a lot of Barbadians breaking boundaries, Deejay Puffy, Rihanna and Darian King in US Open getting to the main draw, he is a big inspiration to me.”
It has been his best run ever, but White is definitely not resting on his laurels.
“I compare myself to the best guys out there, I’m going to be up there. We have 90 competitors and we are divided into four heats by ranking and I got the toughest persons, even the Olympic bronze medallist Nick Goepper. I placed 11th in the heat and that is a big accomplishment, I mind my own game and I do what I’m here to do.”