Tongan athlete and science student, Bruno Banani, is making his mark on luge racing. The 26-year-old has been traveling throughout Europe and North America, training on different tracks in order to prepare himself for the upcoming Olympics. He has trained with the likes of Isabel Barschinsk and the German National Team, who have dominated luge racing for many years.
In December 2011, Banani qualified for the World Cup for the first time. Aside from taking an excellent 27th place, the luger also won the first winter sports medal for the Island Kingdom of Tonga by placing third place at the American-Pacific Championships. From 2011 until 2012, Bruno comepeted in the Nations Cup every week, where the best 17 out of 25 to 55 starters will be nominated to participate in the following World Cup. From the Nations Cup, he moved onto World Cup events held in Switzerland and Latvia, where he finished the season with an outstanding 36th place!
Bruno Banani shows improvement with every competition he participates in. The Tongan luger was ranked number 32 in the world out of 61 lugers with a rising trend. If he manages to stabilize his remarkable performance, he certainly will be the first Olympian from the South Pacific islands participating in the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014.
Keep an eye out for this rising star and show your support for the movement that he represents!