Charles Flaherty (alpine skier)

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Charles Flaherty
— Alpine skier  —
DisciplinesGiant slalom
Born (2000-12-19) December 19, 2000 (age 17)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States[1]
Teams1 – (2018)
Medals0 (0 gold)
World Championships
Medals0 (0 gold)

Charles Flaherty (born December 19, 2000[2]) is an American born alpine skier who competed for Puerto Rico in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Early life[edit]

Flaherty was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.[1] In 2008, Charles saved his younger brother's life by donating his bone marrow. His brother, William, was dying from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis; his only chance at living was a bone marrow transplant.[3] Charles, seven at the time, was found to be a match[3] and willingly underwent a three-hour surgery to harvest the marrow which successfully saved his younger brother.

After a few years of recovery, the family moved to Puerto Rico in 2010,[1] when Charles was nine years old. He attended St John's School and TASIS Dorado before he changed to online school, Laurel Springs School, in 2013. He and his family moved in 2015 from Dorado, Puerto Rico, to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, where he still resides.

He was 13 years old when he began skiing competitively, after watching the 2014 Winter Olympics sparked his interest in taking up the sport.[4] Flaherty trains in Colorado from November to April each winter, and returns to Puerto Rico for the summers where he enjoys kitesurfing in the warm Caribbean waters. He also trains in Canada and Chile for a few weeks each summer.


Flaherty had to convince the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee to allow him to compete for the country. In 2002, the bobsleigh team that was set to compete for Puerto Rico was withdrawn as one athlete (Michael Gonzales) did not meet Puerto Rico Olympic Committee rules about eligibility. After this, the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee withdrew the recognition of the Winter Sports Federation for the territory, effectively ending any hopes for athletes competing at the Winter Olympics.[5] Alpine skier Kristina Krone qualified to represent the territory at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Sochi respectively. However, both times the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee refused to even acknowledge her qualification and the territory did not compete.[6] In December 2017, the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee allowed a six-month temporary membership to the Winter Sports Federation, without funding, thus allowing the territory to compete at the 2018 Games.[7] Although Flaherty was born in the United States, he has resided in Puerto Rico Since 2010, which gave him eligibility to compete for the country.[8] Puerto Rico Olympic Committee’s eligibility requirement is three years of residency on the island.

2018 Winter Olympics[edit]

Flaherty competed for Puerto Rico at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the alpine skiing events, specifically in the giant slalom.[1] Flaherty became the first athlete to compete for Puerto Rico at a Winter Olympics since 1998, and the first Puerto Rican athlete sent to a Winter Olympic Games since 2002, when the only athletes sent – a bobsled team – did not compete, because one of the team's members was ruled ineligible.[1][3]

During the opening ceremony on 9 February, he was the flag bearer for Puerto Rico in the Parade of Nations.[3] Flaherty concluded his participation in the giant slalom 73rd (out of 110 participants) with a time of 2:56.05 (the best time was Marcel Hirscher's 2:18.04).

Olympic results[edit]

Age Slalom Giant
Super G Downhill Combined
2018 17 73

External Links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Manuel Repollet (2002)[9]
Flagbearer for  Puerto Rico
PyeongChang 2018
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d e Bratskeir, Kate (8 February 2018). "2018 Winter Olympics: Puerto Rico skier Charles Flaherty breaks the territory's 20-year dry spell". Mic. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  2. ^ FIS Biography
  3. ^ a b c d Carlson, Adam (9 February 2018). "Meet the 17-Year-Old Skier Competing in Puerto Rico's First Winter Olympics in Decades". People. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Athlete Profile: Charles Flaherty". Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ Paese, Gabrielle (15 February 2002). "Puerto Rico In The Winter Olympics, Not Such A Hot Idea". Puerto Rico Herald. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  6. ^ Pagán Rivera, Esteban (13 January 2014). "Kristina Krone: Quería ir a Sochi, pero nunca recibió contestación del Comité Olímpico" [Kristina Krone: I wanted to go to Sochi, but never received an answer from the Olympic Committee] (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Atleta de ski representará a Puerto Rico en Juegos de Invierno 2018" [Ski athlete will represent Puerto Rico in Winter Games 2018]. Metro Puerto Rico (in Spanish). San Juan, Puerto Rico. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  8. ^ Ortiz, Víctor Pillot (13 December 2017). "Federación de Atletas Invernales le hace frente al reto olímpico" [Winter Athletes Federation faces the Olympic challenge]. El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  9. ^ [1]