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Venezuelan medalist Dhers visits dangerous neighborhood

Venezuelan medalist Dhers visits dangerous neighborhood

Daniel Dhers, the undisputed king of the X Games for almost a decade and the brand new silver medalist in the BMX freestyle of the Olympic Games, celebrated his return home on Saturday with children and adolescents from one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Caracas, where one of the largest criminal gangs in Venezuela operated.

“This medal is mine as well as yours. Thank you for your support, ”said Dhers as he showed the Tokyo medal to the crowd gathered around him. Then, after a heavy rain, he delighted the neighbors with his tricks and pirouettes, along with several young men and a girl.

The presence of Dhers in the neighborhood known as Cota 905 —a mountainous area sifted with shacks built mostly with waste materials— is evidence of the winds of change that are perceived in a community battered for years by members of the band of “ El Koki ”, which was dismantled from July 7 to 9 after a bloody confrontation between criminals and more than 2,400 security agents deployed in western Caracas.

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“I know it was tough here, I had to come. The goal is to bring joy to Venezuela, ”said Dhers, who won five X Games championships in a brilliant career that began in 2003 and has among his most treasured memories the recent experience of seeing the Venezuelan flag fly in Tokyo.

“It is important to remind, especially children, that not only bad things happen in Venezuela,” he said. “There were strong moments, but we are now in moments of peace, so it is time to rebuild.”

The rapper known as “El Truko de la Musa”, who lives in Cota 905, welcomed the visit of the cyclist and stressed that it fuels the hope of the inhabitants of the neighborhood.

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“It seems to me a beautiful initiative because, despite everything that has been happening on Cota 905 in recent weeks, in recent months”, where “people have been super intense, anxious, this type of activity is what it allows people to regain hope and faith to lead a normal and common life ”, emphasized the rapper.

Dhers was one of the best nine in the world competed in the park mode, which includes tricks on obstacles such as walls, boxes and columns.

The 36-year-old extreme cyclist had thought about retirement, but after the possibility of competing in the Olympic Games presented itself, he found the motivation to keep going and ended up on the podium, a sample that still has conditions to remain in the elite of the discipline.

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Freestyle BMX made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. As expected, the discipline captured the attention of many and brought fresh air to the Games program.

Aussie Logan Martin seized the gold with a score of 93.3 on the first of the rounds, while Dher secured silver after a great performance that included a frontal somersault on the spine – on his second attempt, for 92 , 05 points.

Bronze went to Briton Declan Bruce with a score of 90.8. (AP)

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