How a Husband and Wife from Montana Got to Sochi

Aaron Flint posted on February 25, 2014 14:45 :: 3665 Views

“Did Dominica couple game the Games?  How a husband and wife from Montana got to Sochi.”  That’s the headline on this San Diego Union Tribune piece.  

It’s just the latest headline dogging Angelica and Gary di Silvestri, the owners of a $20 million home in the Yellowstone Club near Big Sky, Montana.   (*note- calls have been placed with the di Silvestri’s to hear their side of the story)

Here’s an excerpt from the Union Tribune piece:

Dominica is an island in the eastern Caribbean between Guadeloupe and Martinique, a former British colony filled with volcanic peaks, rain forests, black sand beaches and pirate lore. It has 73,286 residents. Its primary export is bananas. Its national flag has a parrot in the middle.

It is also the epicenter of growing questions at the heart of the Olympic ideal, about the delicate balance between the principles of universality and credibility, of inclusion and integrity. About how the International Olympic Committee continues to set records for participating nations.

About how a 47-year-old former hedge-fund manager from the United States and his 48-year-old wife who took up cross country skiing in their 30s and who had little connection to Dominica became the tropical island nation’s first representatives at a Winter Olympics.

I don’t recall ever hearing much of anything about the di Silvestri’s and their Montana connections before this story. records show a donation from Gary di Silvestri to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) back in 2008. 

CBS Sports has even jumped onto the story with this- Report: Dominica’s cross-country couple pull Olympic-sized hoax

It was a cushy story about two philanthropic veteran cross-country skiers who somehow represented the tropical island of Dominica at the recently concluded Sochi Games.

However, it appears that Gary di Silvestri, 46 and originally from Staten Island, and his wife, Angelica Morrone de Silvestri, aren’t who they say they are, according to Deadspin.

Here’s photos of the di Silvestri’s from the Sochi2014 website: apparently was the first outlet to actually look into the initial news accounts highlighting the di Silvestri’s in Sochi:

Di Silvestri and Morrone, you may recall, traveled to Sochi bearing the flag of Dominica, an island in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean. This may seem odd, since Gary’s a native of Staten Island, Angelica’s an Italian national, and they live in a mountain palace in Montana. But then, Dominica is the sort of country that tries to sell you “economic citizenship” on its website. Any married couple from anywhere can become Dominicans by depositing $175,000 “into the appropriate account at the National Commercial Bank of Dominica,” and paying the Ministry of Finance another $3,530 in tariffs and fees. Di Silvestri and Morrone just went one better by finagling their way onto the nation’s previously nonexistent winter Olympics team.

Meanwhile, what’s left out of the stories about his wife’s Olympic bid proves far more interesting than what made the cut. You wouldn’t know it from all her Sochi press, but Morrone got involved with Olympic skiing a long time ago.

In fact, Morrone got caught up in the massive international scandal that broke out in the 1990s over alleged fraud in the awarding of international winter sports competitions, including the Olympics. The brouhaha peaked in 1998 when Marc Hodler, an attorney in Switzerland and longtime International Olympic Committee official, told reporters that fellow committee members had been selling their votes in exchange for money and gifts for years.

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