Tongan Skier eyeing the 2018 Winter Olympics fails to finish

Less than a year away from the Winter Olympics in South Korea Tongan-English Kasete Naufahu Skeen, who transformed his life completely in a bid to represent Tonga in Alpine Skiing, was unable to achieve a result on his debut at the Alpine World Ski Champs in St Moritz.



After completing his first three competitive races in Italy successfully, skiier Kasete Skeen was on track for Pyeongchang, having made it through to the World Championships in St Moritz.


The 34-year-old says momentum had been building in his campaign to qualify, however unfortunately finished 104th out of 105 competitors in the men's giant slalom qualification race.


Skeen did admit that he is “not by any stretch of the imagination an experienced skier”.


“Nor have I led a life of athletic pursuit.


“In fact the truth is quite the opposite. Until six months ago I smoked, I drank too much, I ate badly and I didn’t exercise at all,” he admitted in a blog post.


However he tried he had drastically changed his life in order to make it this far:


“Since [six months ago] I have begun a dramatic transformation that has seen me quit smoking, start exercising, revolutionise my eating habits and lose 25 kilograms,” he said.


Kasete Skeen has said the achievements of Bruno Banani, who competed at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, was an inspiration.


You can watch Bruno’s journey in the documentary Being Bruno Benani which will debut in New Zealand during the Pasifika Film Fest.


The former operations manager, with the Opera Holland Park Festival in London, now faces the challenge of deciding what his next move is.