With a big supply bag on his again Venezuelan Olympic champion fencer Ruben Limardo is out biking round his adopted hometown in Poland, making ends meet in an odd however heartwarming story from this time of pandemic. The 35-year-old London Olympics foil gold medallist will go for glory once more on the Tokyo Olympics subsequent 12 months, however surprised his followers final week when he made a tweet revealing the character of his new job. “It’s important to earn your method and this can be a job like some other,” he instructed AFP as he went a couple of typical day of coaching and making meals deliveries for Uber Eats.
And he’s not the one one — 20 different members of Venezuela’s nationwide fencing staff reside the identical unbelievable existence within the city of Lodz in Poland.
“We’re all supply riders,” mentioned Limardo, talking in fluent Polish.
He received his Olympic title eight years in the past — the primary fencer from Latin America to take action since Cuba’s Ramon Fonst in 1904.
He additionally grew to become solely the second Venezuelan gold medallist, 44 years after boxer Francisco Rodriguez.
“Pandemic turned every little thing round”
5 mornings per week, the younger Venezuelan fencers collect in a former workshop on a largely deserted industrial web site in Lodz to cross swords.
Their white uniforms conflict with the yellow, blue and pink of their nationwide flag which dominate the decor.
On the entrance, a pile of bikes and inexperienced cool-bags await the stroke of 1:00pm when every of the fencers end their coaching, has a fast bathe after which units off for deliveries within the chill of a Polish autumn.
“We get little or no cash from Venezuela due to the disaster there. And the pandemic has turned every little thing round. There are not any competitions, the Tokyo Olympics have been delayed for a 12 months and the sponsors are saying they are going to begin paying once more within the new 12 months.
“That is why now we have to become profitable on the street,” mentioned Limardo, who does round 50 kilometres (31 miles) per day on his bike, incomes round 100 euros per week.
“It really works nicely with our coaching. We may even say it’s an extension of the coaching,” mentioned the married father of two.
“It permits us to reside, end our research. We assist one another out with coaching, paying rents. Everybody works to finance the others within the group,” he mentioned.
“The dream continues to be there”
Ruben Limardo has lived in Poland for 19 years.
He was inspired to maneuver there by an uncle who needed to create a centre for Venezuelan fencers on this economically thriving nation with comparatively low overheads in comparison with western Europe.
Since transferring to Poland, he has created a basis for Venezuelan fencers in addition to a membership for collaborating in native tournaments and a fencing college for kids.
The pandemic has created difficulties however the college is constant to function, with the Venezuelan fencers taking it in turns to provide classes.
“However above all we’re coaching to renew competitors at any second. The dream continues to be there,” Limardo mentioned.
“Each time I make a supply I inform myself that it’s going to assist me win the medal I would like at Tokyo in 2021.”
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