For the first time Zimbabwe will send a winter Olympian for the games in Sochi, Russia. Olympian Luke Steyn (20) is set to represent Zimbabwe at this years Olympic games in the slalom and giant slalom. Despite the fact that snow only fell once in the past 50 years in the southern African nation, Zimbabwe will send it first athlete to the games. Zimbabwe Snow Sports Association acknowledges that the winter Olympics are harder for athletes from Zimbabwe because of the climate but there is potential for more athletes to compete in the future as more people are exposed to other sporting opportunities.
Steyn was born in Harare but moved to Switzerland when he was 2 then France and England. However, he perfected his skills while studying at the University of Colorado and on additional trips to New Zealand and Chile. Luke is backed by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and the state-run Sports and Recreation Council. The Zimbabwe delegation will be sponsored by Makia Clothing.
The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee awarded Luke Steyn an Olympic Scholarship effective from 1 July 2013 to February 2014. The scholarship included financial and technical assistance to enable him to acquire enough points to qualify for the games. The scholarship is offered to athletes who are at elite level and demonstrate the ability to qualify for the Olympic Games: the qualification criteria and standards for the award of Olympic Scholarships are drawn and directed by the International Federations and the International Olympic Committee upon receipt of an application from the National Olympic Committee.