Warren Cummings Smith, a 21-year-old who holds both US and Estonian citizenship, finished 45th today out of 109 competitors in Alpine skiing in the Winter Games in Sochi.
Cummings Smith said before the Olympics that his Sochi experience was part of a learning process.
“I’m thinking longer-term, hoping to do as well as I can in Sochi, but it’s not like I plan for this to be the culmination of my career; I’m planning to use this as an experience and a stepping stone,” he said.
Cummings Smith did not compete in the Vancouver Games, but a first-place finish at an FIS competition in Sweden in December made it difficult to leave him out in Sochi.
The skiier comes from a family of athletes. He is formerly a competitive sailor as well as a skier when studying at Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university in New Hampshire. His brother and sister played tennis for their universities, his mother also played tennis at a high level and his father was an accomplished association footballer. Above all else, though, skiing was Warren Cummings Smith's main sport throughout his adolescence and college years.
Cummings Smith’s Tartu-raised grandmother, along with her parents, emigrated during World War II when she was 16 years old. She worked for the American Red Cross in Hamburg, where she completed her medical studies, then moved to the US after the War.
Estonian sports commentators did not have high hopes for the US-born athlete, as no one had previously seen him in action. That changed today as Cummings Smith finished 48th on the first run, 7.17 seconds behind place Ted Ligety who went on to win the gold medal.
The Estonian fared better on the second run, finishing 45th, 5.98 seconds behind the leader. Out of the 109 skiers who began the event, only 72 managed to complete both runs.
He will take to the slopes again in three days, competing in the men's slalom event on February 22.