This Thursday, September 9, the delegation that represented Venezuela at the 2020 Paralympic Games held in Tokyo landed in the country and was welcomed by its people as heroes.
The 26 Venezuelan athletes returned home from the best performance in the country’s Paralympic history, having obtained seven medals, including three golds, two silvers, two bronze medals, and 17 Paralympic diplomas.
With a red carpet prepared for them by the Venezuelan government, several Olympic athletes and medalists were waiting also, along with friends and relatives, to welcome the Paralympic delegation. Olympic athletes including karate master Antonio Diaz and BMX biker and Olympic silver medalist Daniel Dhers were in attendance.
Venezuela le da la bienvenida a sus campeones y campeonas paralímpicos.
— Ernesto Villegas Poljak (@VillegasPoljak) September 9, 2021
Parathletes Lisbeli Vera and Linda Pérez led the Venezuelan Paralympic delegation that arrived in Maiquetía, in La Guaira state, in the company of sports authorities such as Minister Mervin Maldonado, who has been supporting the delegation from Tokyo.
Antonio Díaz (@diazkarate) y otros atletas olímpicos recibieron a la delegación venezolana Paralímpica, quienes arribaron este jueves al Aeropuerto Internacional de Maiquetía, que estuvo presente en #Tokyo2020. ¡Qué orgullo! 🥺😍🥇 pic.twitter.com/eel7nUlFLH
— Meridiano (🏠) (@MeridianoTV) September 9, 2021
Upon her arrival, the double gold and silver winner in athletics, Lisbeli Vera, stated that she felt happy and proud to return to her country. “I have no words to express how happy I feel,” she said, “and now I tell you that I honored Venezuela, I honored my flag, and all my people from San José (Merida state) who have been supporting me. I am very happy, super proud!”
¡Una Bienvenida de Campeones y Campeonas! Desde su llegada al espacio aéreo soberano de Venezuela, los destacados pilotos de la Aviación Militar Bolivariana, saludaron y escoltaron a la Delegación Paralímpica Victoriosa Tokyo 2020. La Patria de Bolívar y Chávez los abraza. pic.twitter.com/NkcdW12qyF
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) September 9, 2021
For her part, Clara Fuentes (bronze medalist in paralympic powerlifting at Tokyo) said she felt very proud also, and emphasized the beauty of Tokyo, the culture and the people. She sent a message to people with disabilities: “everything is possible for a willing mind.”
Escorted by fighter jets while entering Venezuelan airspace
President Nicolas Maduro and the Minister for Defense, Vladimir Padrino, also welcomed the delegation with posts on their respective social media accounts. They noted that the Conviasa flight that brought the athletes from Japan was escorted by Venezuela’s Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighter jets.
- 100m T47 Lisbely Vera: 11.97 PB
- 200m T47 Lisbely Vera: 24.52 PB100m T11 Linda Pérez / Álvaro Cassiani (Guide): 12.05 PB
- 400m T47 Lisbely Vera: 57.32 PB
- 400m T20 Luís Felipe Rodríguez: 47.71
- Power (-41kg) Clara Fuentes
- 400m T12 Alejandra Pérez / Markinson Manzanilla (Guide): 57.06
- Abraham Ortega, eighth place in Bullet Impulse F46: 14.36m
- Norkelys González, sixth place in the 400m T20: 59.74
- Yomaira Cohen, sixth place in the Bullet Impulse F37: 10.16 PB
- Linda Pérez, fourth place in the 400m T11: 57.71 PB / Fourth in the 200m T11: 25.27
- Alejandra Pérez, fourth place in the 200m T12: 25.27 PB
- Greilys Villarroel, fourth place in the 400m T12: 57.69 PB
- Wendy Mejías, eighth place in Bullet Impulse F34: 6.62m PB / fifth in javelin throw F34: 15.90 m (Area Record)
- Naibys Morillo, fourth place in Javelin Throw F46: 38.33
- Edwars Varela, sixth place in Shot Put F37: 46.57 PB
- Belkis Mota S12, seventh place in the 100m freestyle: 1: 07.60
- Belkis Mota S12, sixth place in the 100m breaststroke: 1: 30.37
- Erickson Bermúdez SB7, sixth place in the 100m breaststroke: 1: 27.83
- Oriana Terán (-45kg), seventh place
- Wuinawuis Hernández (-55kg), eighth place
- Marcos Blanco (-60kg), fifth place
Meeting President Maduro
Immediately after arriving to Caracas the bus that brought the delegation was received by President Nicolas Maduro at Miraflores Palace.
The head of state delivered the Francisco de Miranda Order to the athletes, in its 2nd Class, “Precursor,” and in its 3rd Class, “Official,” to the athletes who participated in the historic Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“A flag full of victories, of success,” said Maduro upon receiving the national tricolor from the hands of the Paralympic athletes. “I receive it with great pride from the hands of Lisbeli, Vera, and Abraham Ortega.” Venezuela has now achieved a total of 24 medals in the Paralympic Games, noted Maduro, of which 23 have been obtained during the Revolution, including 13 medals in the last eight years.
President Maduro also reported that the national games will be resumed in December 2021, and the paranational games in March 2022. He also called on communities and students to promote athletics in their respective communities.
Featured image: Venezuelan Paralympic athletes being received as heroes. Lisbeli Vera, the top medalist, is in front of the mic. Photo courtesy of Conviasa.
(RedRadioVE) by Victoria Torres, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune