René Farwig was the first Winter Olympian from Bolivia, competing at the 1956 Winter Olympics. In 1955 Farwig had competed at the Festival of Youth and Students in Zakopane, Poland, where he met a Polish team chaplain, Karol Wojtyla, and they became close friends. Farwig later settled in Banff, Alberta, Canada where he worked at various ski resorts and also indulged in his hobby of painting. In the 1980s Farwig supported other Bolivian skiers and helped them to compete at the Winter Olympics. In 1978, Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II and when he made an official visit to Canada in 1984, Wojtyla and Farwig met in Edmonton,had dinner and renewed their old friendship.