Celine Marti, an international skier who was found on the streets of Haiti as a dying baby by missionary workers, and adopted by a Swiss couple from Geneva, as indicated her dream to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.
Marti finished 52nd in her race, the slalom at February’s World Ski Championships, over a minute behind champion Mikaela Shiffrin. Two days earlier, she had come 82nd in the giant slalom. But her participation in Are, Sweden was never about winning. She doesn’t ski to win. It is about love, determination and overcoming adversity.
As a baby, Marti was found on the streets of Haiti by missionary workers. She was adopted by a couple from Geneva who ignored warnings that the then nine-month-old was not expected to live for much longer.
Marti skied for the first time at a school camp and immediately fell in love with it and became hooked. She was encouraged and supported by her adoptive parents. During school holidays she would head for the slopes, taking the bus alone to a small ski station close to Geneva, and eventually started teaching at her local ski school.
As she is not a professional, Marti cannot afford to race or train as often as she would wish. Time on the snow is restricted to the weekends as ski passes are not cheap plus it has been difficult to attract sponsors.
Despite the financial constraints, Marti nevertheless, is relentless. Her dream is to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, but must first prepare and excel at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships 2021 in Italy, a race she is ready to run to the end.
“As long as my body is OK, I will continue, The next [World Ski Championships] is in Cortina in Italy and would like to go,” she says.
“I would like to continue this dream and in three years it’s the Olympic Games and it’d be the dream to represent Haiti in the Winter Games. I think it’s possible to see the Haitian flag in China.”