German prince to ski in 6th Olympics for Mexico

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The German prince who skis for Mexico has a noble ambition in Sochi: Become king of the hill.

Not so much with his finish in the slalom - he has no illusions of winning - but rather through his fashion statement.

Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, who turns 55 on Sunday, wants to stand out on the slopes in his flamboyant mariachi racing suit.

A fitting outfit for a vibrant character. Born in Mexico City, Von Hohenlohe has royal lineage through his family’s ties with a former principality in Germany. He’s also a singer who’s released several albums, photographer whose work has been displayed in galleries and, oh yeah, a soon-to-be six-time Olympian.

That’s right, six appearances, beginning with his debut at the 1984 Sarajevo Games. Von Hohenlohe counts Austria great Franz Klammer as a friend, Bode Miller as an inspiration - “He’s a rebel and lives by his own rules,” the prince explained - and said this new generation of skiers keeps him young.

“I have had an interesting life,” Von Hohenlohe said.

Indeed. No wonder he’s referred to as the “most interesting Olympian,” a take on the commercial featuring the “most interesting man in the world” character.

“The fact that I have a span of 30 years where I’ve competed at the Olympics is quite special,” he said in a phone interview from his hotel room in Mexico City.

Von Hohenlohe is set to become the second-oldest male competitor at a Winter Games when he races in the slalom on Feb. 22, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon. The honor of oldest belongs to Carl August Kronlund, a Swedish curler who was 58 when he captured a silver medal at the 1924 Games.

That’s a distinction Von Hohenlohe really doesn’t want, which is why Sochi will be his last Olympics.

Then again, he said he was retiring after Vancouver, too.

“Maybe I’ll try curling and go to a couple more?” said Von Hohenlohe, whose grandmother has Mexican ancestry.

In Vancouver four years ago, Von Hohenlohe wore a ski suit that featured a picture of a gun in a holster. He also wore others that tried to promote recycling efforts in Mexico.

This mariachi theme, though, takes the prize.

“It’s an appropriate suit for someone who’s not as explosive as the young ones, but has to go down stylish,” said Von Hohenlohe, who founded the Mexican Ski Federation in the early ‘80s.

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