February 20, 2006

Oldest skier content in last place

By Mark Meadows

SAUZE D'OULX, Italy (Reuters) - Clyde Getty, a 44-year-old
American-turned-Argentine, was proud of his achievement despite
finishing last in the men's Olympic aerials qualifier on

Getty, born to Argentine parents, was a member of the U.S.
freestyle skiing team in the 1990s but later became an
Argentine citizen and managed to qualify for the Salt Lake City
Games in 2002 where he finished 25th.

Argentina's only freestyle skier, he returned for another
go in Turin knowing full well he would finish bottom. He was
the only competitor to use the smaller launchpads for his
jumps, cutting the amount of points he could collect from the

"I'm pretty sure I am the oldest (Olympic) skier. I'm proud
of it but it is not the reason I am here. It is passion," he
told reporters. "It is a big learning experience for me."

The crowd applauded his eccentricity after he celebrated
following a nasty tumble where he lost his skis.

"The Argentinian Federation thought I was the black sheep
but I've brought more Argentinian fans than anyone. But I'm
here for me, not the crowd," he added.

Getty said he was looking forward to returning to his job
as a computer systems analyst after finding even the most basic
aerial tricks difficult.

"(My job) is easier than this. This is work. I don't
especially like doing doubles but that is what the coach says,"
Getty said.