Did A Rich Couple Buy Their Way Into The Olympics?
Did a mega rich couple buy their way into the Olympics?
Former hedge fund manager, Gary di Silvestri and his Italian-born wife, Angelica, represented the tiny Caribbean nation of Dominica. They're the only two people who've ever competed in the winter games for the tropical country.
Matt Lauer said during Olympic coverage, “They have no direct ties to Dominica but they were granted citizenship."
Gary is an American citizen, but proudly carried the flag of Dominica. So, how did they come to represent Dominica when they live in a $30 million home in Montana? They allegedly spent $175,000 each to become citzens of Dominica.
Olympic Historian Bill Mallon told INSIDE EDITION, "They are what we call 'Olympic Tourists,' because they are not truly Olympic athletes in the true sense of the term."
Gary and his wife are skilled cross country skiers, but at 47 and 48, they are hardly Olympic caliber.
Headlines like, "Dominica's fake ski team scammed the Olympics" and "How They Duped the Olympics," caused them huge embarrassment.
Angelica never showed up for her cross country race, saying she broke her nose. As for Gary’s Olympic experience, he quit his race just seconds after the start.
Mallon said, “I know it is not good for the Olympics. I know they have talked internally at the Olympic committee, they would like to limit this some way."
The New York Times summed it up this way: “The di Silvestri's are proof that acquiring nationality in a balmy place can still provide a path to the winter games for unlikely athletes who would be unable to make the cut in their countries of origin.”
The di Silvestri's say they legitimately met all the requirements needed to compete in the Olympics and the Dominica Olympic Committee denies that anything was handled improperly.