Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Bruno Banani of Tonga prepares to start a run during a training session for the men's singles luge at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Brief story: Tongan luger has underwear sponsorship
First Published Feb 07 2014 09:26 am • Last Updated Feb 25 2014 04:39 pm

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • Talk about Olympic support.

Tongan luger Bruno Banani — formerly known as Fuahea Semi — shares his name with a German underwear company that paired with the 26-year-old in a unique sponsorship agreement.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The story is straight from a Hollywood movie script. And it’s not, ahem, brief.

When Tongan Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu Tuita set out in 2008 get an athlete from the tiny Polynesian nation into the Winter Games, Banani, then a computer science student and member of the military, beat out dozens of other Tongans and decided to give luge a go. He moved to Germany in 2009 and trained with the sliding power’s national team.

Needing money to cover the cost of the expensive sport, he approached the company Bruno Banani, which manufactures men’s underwear. He changed his name to the company’s and soon the two were partners.

Banani failed to qualify for the Vancouver Games after crashing and sustaining a concussion. Though a longshot to medal, he’ll be in the field in Sochi and will take his initial runs when competition begins Saturday.

No, there won’t be a Calvin Klein sliding, as well.

— Tom Withers




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.