This video was taken in Finland before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on February 10, 2022 at 05:00
  • Updated on February 10, 2022 at 07:43
  • 2 min read
  • By AFP Hong Kong
A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in social media posts that claim it shows a Venezuelan skier making a series of gaffes at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. The posts are misleading; the footage shows Venezuelan athlete Adrian Solano at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Finland in 2017.

The video shows a compilation of blunders, with the skier struggling for balance as he sets off down the piste before stumbling several times.

"Venezuelan Winter Olympics athlete who comes from a country with no snow enjoyed 678 dishes, received a gift bag and experienced Chinese hospitality," reads the simplified Chinese tweet posted on February 5, 2022.

"Of course, it wouldn't make sense for him not to show his moves."

Chinese state media reported that athletes at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which kicked off on February 4, 2022, would enjoy a menu including 678 dishes from 12 global regions as a show of "Chinese hospitality".

Athletes were also reportedly gifted items including phones and earbuds.

Screenshot of the misleading tweet taken on February 8, 2022

The video was shared in similar posts -- where it attracted tens of thousands of views -- on Facebook, Weibo, Twitter, Gettr and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

However, the posts are misleading.

Keyword searches on Google found same clips from the footage in a New York Times article from February 24, 2017, almost five years before the Beijing Winter Olympics started.

"'World’s Worst Skier' Has Best Explanation: He Never Trained on Snow," the headline reads.

The article shares a video that features various clips from the footage shared in the misleading social media posts.

Below are screenshot comparisons of the video in misleading posts (left) and video from the New York Times's article from 2017 (right).

Screenshot comparisons of the video in misleading posts (left) and the New York Times's article from 2017 (right)

The article said the video, which shows Venezuelan cook-turned-skier Adrian Solano, was filmed during the the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland in February 2017. 

"Until arriving at the competition this week, Solano, a Venezuelan, had never set foot on, nor even seen, snow. Until his debut, Solano, 22, carried out all his training for the championships on wheels under the blazing South American sun," it reported.

"Simply getting to the championships was a struggle for Solano, who works as a cook in Maracay, Venezuela. He decided to take up roller skiing about a year ago, basing his decision on simply being someone who likes 'trying difficult things'."

AFP also reported on Solano's wobbly 2017 performance here.

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