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  • Trevor Greenway

Chelsea skier first Haitian to compete at University Games

Chelsea skier Theo Mallett is set to make Haitian history this weekend in Lake Placid.

The Chelsea Nordiq cross-country star will be the first athlete to ever represent Haiti in the International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games. He said he’s excited to not only represent his home country for the first time, but also to represent black athletes on the world stage.

“It means a lot to me. I get to represent a country that is struggling and that has been struggling for a while,” Theo told the Low Down just days ahead of his trip to Lake Placid, where he will be the sole flag bearer for Haiti when he marches in the opening ceremonies Jan. 12. He will be joined by his father Dan, who will also serve as his manager, coach and wax technician.

“And I will also be representing a minority in skiing, so it’s going to be a good experience,” he added.

Theo was adopted at the age of two by Chelsea parents, Dan Mallett and Diane Lemire, who said the young boy could hardly walk because he was so malnourished as a child. But it didn’t take them long to get their boy on skis, and Theo would soon become a household name at local loppets, races and ski festivals in the Gatineau Hills. Theo said he remembers being pulled in a sled as a toddler, where he would take mini naps only to wake up and ski through Gatineau Park until he was too tuckered out and needed another rest.

“My parents put me on skis that winter,” added Theo, who joine