Benjamin Alexander’s decision to put down the decks and pick up the poles has begun to pay off.
Alexander, formerly a DJ and resident of Burning Man’s iconic Robot Heart community, made a dramatic lifestyle change in 2018 when he opted to retire his DJing career in order to focus on skiing full-time.
After a ski trip in early 2018, Alexander became consumed with the idea of pursuing the sport in a professional capacity. After subsequently traveling to Pyongyang to view the 2018 Winter Olympics, he set his sights high.
“I ended up going to the Winter Olympics in Pyongyang as a spectator and noticed that there were only three Jamaican athletes, which I was shocked by,” Alexander told Resident Advisor. “The kernel of this idea was formed. Maybe I could fill a spot there.”
Next month, Alexander’s aspirational goal will be achieved. He will become the first athlete to represent Jamaica in an Alpine Skiing event during this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
“I’ve already got my gold medal, my gold medal was qualification,” said Alexander, who impressively qualified without the assistance of having a full-time skiing coach. “And my medal ceremony will be the opening ceremony when I hopefully hold the flag… I’m going up against people who have been skiing for 30 years and have had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested into their training per year.”
Alexander considers his qualification an honor of gold medal proportions. For him, the honor lies in representing his country and he sees his involvement as a pathway to bringing more Jamaican athletes into the sport.
Alexander will compete in the men’s giant slalom event in Beijing on February 13th.