Guatemalan race walker Erick Barrondo, Olympic silver medalist, will be the flag bearer of the Central American country’s delegation that will participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Guatemala has 21 qualified athletes, 16 of whom participated in the ceremony held at the Banderas Room of the National Culture Palace, headed by president Jimmy Morales and with the participation of other high level officials and sport directors.
In his speech, the president said that every four years, “excellence” of sport meets, among which Guatemalan athletes will be present.
Morales recalled that four years ago, Guatemala woke up to the news: “We are in second and it was a small Quetzal that was flying higher than a Condor or a Royal Eagle”.
The head of state referred to Barrondo, who won a silver medal in the last Olympic Games, the only medal in the history of the Central American country.
“You are made to be the first”, the president said to the delegation’s flag bearer.
He highlighted the 21 athletes are “actual examples” for new generations to follow, due to their dedication and results achieved, with which they have earned a privileged place in worldwide society and this “is not a result of chance nor improvisation”, he underlined.
He commented high level sport demands preparation and enormous sacrifices, methodic discipline and the hardest thing, he stated, “leaving their families behind for long periods of time”.
Morales highlighted it is always expected that Guatemalans triumph over any rival, but even further that any result achieved, he expressed he hopes they continue being “Guatemala’s positive image”.
“I feel absolutely proud of this 21 athlete delegation. I do not doubt their determination will be rewarded”, he asserted, asking at the same time for a round of applause for Juan Carlos Trujillo, who will participate in athletics.
The delegation is integrated by Manuel Rodas of cycling; Erick Barrondo, Jaime Daniel Quiyuch, Mario Bran, José Raymundo, Maritza Poncio, Mirna Ortiz and Mayra Herrera of race walking; José Amado García of athletics; Hebert Brol and Enrique Brol of shooting; as well as Charles Fernández and Isabel Brand of modern pentathlon; Juan Ignacio Maegli, of sailing; José Ramos of judo; and Juan Carlos Trujillo of athletics.
Athletes that were not present at the ceremony but who will be traveling to Brazil are Kevin Cordón of badminton; Valerie Gruest and Luis Carlos Martínez of swimming; and Ana Sofía Gómez of gymnastics. There is a pending place in the sport of weightlifting, which will be announced shortly.