Sochi Scam: A Fake Ski Team Had Everyone Fooled At The Olympics

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I usually love watching the Olympics, but for some reason I couldn’t really get into it this year. Maybe it had to do with all of the reports I heard about the hotels and stuff there or maybe I felt so bad for Bob Costas’ eyes or maybe it was simply that I could never find time to sit down and actually watch a lot of the events.

It turns out that two people had a lot of people fooled at the Olympics, including the press. Meet Gary di Silvestri and Angelica Morrone, “the most-publicized husband-and-wife carpetbagging oldies act in cross-country-skiing history.”

If you’re like me, you’re thinking how do you pull off a scam at the Olympics? Well, it turns out that the couple traveled to Sochi bearing the flag of Dominica, which is an “island in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean.” That seems kind of odd considering that they live in a mountain place in Montana, and neither of them have anything to do with Dominica.

It looks like any married couple from any part of the world can actually become Dominicans by putting $175,000 “into the appropriate account at the National Commercial Bank of Dominica,” and also giving $3,530 in traffic fees to the Ministry of Finance. Morrone and di Silvestri not only did all that but they finagled “their way onto the Nation’s previously nonexistent winter Olympics team.”

Morrone is 48-years-old, and that would’ve meant that she was the oldest Olympic cross-country-skier of all time by seven years. Guess what happened with her, though? She didn’t even show up up for the 10K women’s classic on February 13 because she claimed she had an injury. Out of all the 76 participants in the race she was the only one who didn’t make it there.

The next day, di Silvestri, 47, made it out of the start gate in his event, but gave up a few hundred meters later because he claimed he was sick. He was reportedly the only starter who didn’t make even the first checkpoint.

It looks like the di Silvestri has lied about other things his life. In NBC OlympicTalk’s write-up on di Silvestri, it mentions that he “was a two-time state wrestling champion” and that he had “rowed for a national championship team at Georgetown.” It turns out neither claim holds true.

Did anyone except these two to win any medals at the Olympics? Probably not.

I wonder if the couple actually has any plans to visit Dominica.

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