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Did Dominica's Ski Team Scam the Olympics, Media?

Adelina Sotnikova, Mikaela Shiffrin and Bode Miller made headlines at the Sochi Winter Olympics, but you probably haven't heard the names Gary di Silvestri and Angelica Morrone.

Silvestri and Morrone, who are husband and wife, did appear at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, but were not seen too much during the actual competition.

The couple represented Dominica, an island in the Caribbean.

However, Silvestri is from Staten Island, Morrone hails from Italy and they both live in Montana.

According to Dominica's website, a couple can get a "family application" for "economic citizenship" by paying $175,000 into the state bank and by paying Dominca's Ministry of Finance $3,530 in taxes.

Di Silvestri and Morrone became citizens and also represented the tiny country in the Olympics.

Morrone didn't actually ski. The 48 year old claimed she suffered an injury.

Silvestri, 47, did briefly ski in the 15K men's classic, but quit after starting the race because of an alleged illness.

But was the couple at the Olympics to actually compete, or get some press?

“The races were to be the most important of our lives and they were somehow taken away from both of us,” Morrone wrote to the New York Daily News on Monday. “The country, our families and friends were all in front of the TVs to watch us race, and we were not able to.”

Timemagazine featured the Olympians in an article entitled Athletes in Love: 10 Olympic Romances and a subtitle Some Olympians bring home more than just a medal. TIME uncovers some love stories of Olympic proportions. did a story about the couple which was entitled Staten Island Couple will represent Dominica at Sochi Olympics. mentions that Silvestri was a "two-time state wrestling champion" and part of a rowing team "for a national championship team at Georgetown."

However, according to, "there's not much evidence of any such championships outside of the NBC bio and Di Silvestri's own claims."

Steve Meehan, a wrestling historical guru from New York, told that  Di Silvestri doesn't show up in his database of state wrestling champions.

Di Silvestri did attend Georgetown in the 1980s, but the school didn't win an Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta during his years.

Georgetown won a competition in the Dad Vail Regatta in 1989, but Georgetown's coach Whit Fosburgh told, "Gary wasn't in the boats that medaled those years."

"So it wouldn't be accurate to say he was on the medal stand, getting the medals around his neck. But working as hard as he did for as little success as he had, that made him very popular," added Fosburgh.

For her sports background, Morrone was reportedly involved with skiing via an international scandal in the 1990s.

Howard Peterson, former president and CEO of the U.S. ski team, told that Fiat President Vittorio C. Vellano and external relations manager Angelica Di Silvestri (Morrone) offered him two cars before a vote on the host city for the world skiing championships.

Sestriere, Italy was awarded the 1997 world ski championships, which the country used to pitch itself to host the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, which just happened to be Fiat's headquarters.

Sources:, Time,, New York Daily News


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