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Mathieu rAz will represent Madagascar at the 2006 Winter Olympics
For 15 years, Mathieu Razanakolona has been competing in alpine skiing. Because of his dual citizenship, Malagasy and Canadian, he has the possibility of representing either country as a skier.
Due to his dual citizenship and his skiing experience, Mathieu has the unique opportunity to represent Madagascar, a tropical country, at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He is the first and only skier from Madagascar which makes him eligible for the basic quota granted by the International Ski Federation (F.I.S.) to participate at the Olympic Games. To qualify in Slalom and Giant Slalom, Mathieu needs to have less the 140 F.I.S. points on the November 2005 F.I.S. point list in each discipline, standard he met in Tremblant and Mont St Sauveur in December 2004.
Richard Lepage is coaching Mathieu during the qualification period. The Malagasy ski team is therefore benefiting from his 3 years of World Cup experience from 2001 to 2003, and his experience at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City with the Australian womenís team. One of his athlete finished 9th at the 2002 Games in the Combined event (Slalom combined with Downhill).
With Mathieuís abilities and Richardís training program, the Madagascar Ski Federation is enthusiastically preparing for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.