A former hedge fund manager from New York and his wife were set to compete in the Sochi Olympics as cross-country skiers for the tiny island nation of Dominica before they both ended up in the hospital according to UTSanDiego.com.
Gary di Silvestri, who founded Deutsche Suisse Asset Management after graduating from Columbia’s business school, developed “very strong abdominal cramps” after using Sochi’s water to shower and brush his teeth.
His Italian wife, Angelica Morrone di Silvestri, also ended up in the hospital after a crash during a practice run broke her nose. She needed three surgeries to repair her nose.
The di Silvestris have been described by some as “classic Olympic tourists,” a term for rich athletes that look for small countries to use as a backdoor onto the Olympic stage.
According to a New York Times profile, the pair provided a “financial contribution” to the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica as part of the philanthropic efforts in the region.
The country later granted the couple citizenship and approached them about trying to qualify for the Olympics.
A representative of the Dominica Olympic Committee told the New York Times that the stunt was designed to promote tourism as well as to promote winter sports dreams for young children of Caribbean nations.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.