Venezuela's Lone Winter Olympian Has More Than One Great Reason to Dance

Antonio Pardo, Venezuela Alpine Skier, Charms with Opening Ceremony Dance
Skier Antonio Pardo of the Venezuela Olympic team carries his country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
Paul Gilham/Getty

02/07/2014 AT 10:15 PM EST

Anyone watching the procession of nations during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics had to be struck by Venezuela's lone athlete, alpine skier Antonio Pardo, who enthusiastically danced his way around the stadium.

The 43-year-old Caracas native began skiing recreationally in 1988 in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, and only began racing in 2011. He first participated in official races after becoming unemployed. (He was formerly a banker.)

Venezuela's Lone Winter Olympian Has More Than One Great Reason to Dance| Olympics, Winter Olympics 2014

Antonio Pardo of Venezuela

Chuck Myers / MCT / Abaca USA

Pardo, whose sports philosophy is "do it because you love it," is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian – and is the president of the Venezuelan Ski Federation.

But we're just smitten with one indisputable fact: the man can dance.

NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a correction published on the website. Pardo had never undergone surgery for a brain tumor at age 8. The site had sourced the information from a Venezuelan newspaper that had confused Pardo Andretta with para-cross country skier Antonio Pardo Andrade. This information has now been removed from the biography.

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