View a profile of Hélio Freitas, the Brazilian cross country skier who made it to the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games. Hélio’ story is unique: he only got acquainted with cross country skiing in 2002, at the age of 32, and trains in Brazil on his spare time without either coach or partners, by way of skiing on grass or pavement instead of snow!
Hélio Mesquita de Freitas was born in Porto Alegre, south of Brazil, in 10/23/1969. He has a full time job in Porto Alegre as a civil servant since 1991. Ever since childhood until much later in life, Hélio has always been regarded as an introvert, a geek, a nerd. Things have changed dramatically. When he travels abroad today, he is deemed as the “exotic” skier from a tropical country. When training in Brazil, Hélio is considered even more exotic: he is viewed as the “weirdo” who skis on pavement or grass.