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Madagascar to be represented at Winter Olympics in skiiing event

Madagascar to be represented at Winter Olympics in skiiing event

Madagascar to be represented at Winter Olympics in skiiing event release
September 4, 2005

Qualifications FIS Mont St-Sauveur. Image courtesy of

Mathieu Razanakolona will be the first person to represent Madagascar in the winter Olympics. Of all sports, he will be competing in skiing events. Razanakolona is Canadian- Madagasy; Madagascar has no snow.

MONTRÉAL, February 9, 2005 – Mathieu and Philippe Razanakolona, two Canadian- Madagasy brothers have decided to share their origins and to introduce Madagascar, the Great Red Island, to the entire world, in their very own special way. The island, with its warm and cheerful people, is also a developing country wishing to obtain support from the international community. The rAz brothers’ project is to represent Madagascar in alpine skiing at the next 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turino. The Siestre ski run in Turino will only be the first step towards the realization of this project for Madagascar.

During races sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), Mathieu met the qualification standards to be able to participate in the Olympic slalom and giant slalom alpine events. He will also be the first Madagascan to take part in an Olympic event and Mathieu’s talent will shed away the image one might have of an African on skis.

As if being part of the Olympic Games is not an astounding feat in itself, the Razanakolona brothers are setting up a large-scale development program. The goal of the non profit organization,, is to establish important partnerships with companies in order to finance a development programme for Madagascar. This project falls under the umbrella of the UN Millennium Development Goals set for Madagascar by the UN. The programme will finance sustainable development projects that will have an astounding impact on the future of the country. It covers youth, sports, education and health. The main mission of, led by Philippe, will be to set up the development programme.

Thus, for the brothers, participating in the Olympic Games has a two-tier goal: realizing an Olympic dream and providing a way to subsidize a development programme for Madagascar. With the Olympic Games being the most prestigious sports event, the project offers a unique and wide exposure opportunity for companies wishing to participate.

Mathieu will be more than an athlete originating from a tropical country taking part in a winter event, he will also be a Canadian-Madagascan wishing to proudly represent his native country and to actively promote the development of his country. A first for the Olympic Games and a unique opportunity for Madagascar to get such positive international exposure.

Philippe Razanakolona
E-mail:raz (AT)

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