The Venezuelan athlete spoke exclusively for Latin American Post and told part of his story, one of dreams and struggle
The crisis in Venezuela is not a secret to anyone. However, there are examples that show that when you want you can, and one of the most obvious is the emergence as an athlete of Sebastián Guzmán, who without the support of the leadership of his country, has been catapulted as one of the great figures of the speed skating worldwide.
Guzmán, born in a humble family of San Antonio del Táchira, the closest town on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, began to practice the discipline for the same affinity that is had by the sport on wheels in this sector contiguous with the coffee country, in which he knew how to stand out from a very young age.
Today, at 22 years old, Sebastián has been becoming one of the most representative names of the discipline. In this 2018 he achieved the title of the world within the World Roller Games of Nanking, China, in addition to two gold medals in the recent South American Games of Cochabamba, which he reached with low profile and managed to defeat, in the 300 trials and 500 meters of speed, to all the rivals present in the match, including the all-powerful Colombians, who could do little to avoid their victory.
Now, what makes the Venezuelan athlete really special and his feat, is the ability he has had to emerge in adversity, because before the needs of his country and of course the sport of that nation, Guzmán has had to work for the last years based on what he and his team get in sponsorships to be able to prepare and present themselves in important competitions.
"It is not easy to emerge as an athlete in my country, because surely the priorities do not go to support the sport, since there are many other needs to attend, which is why I had to open borders for me, to get where I wanted, starting with sponsors of wheels and sports equipment, who have been able to support me when I needed it the most", Sebastián answered from Cochabamba, exclusively for the Latin American Post journalism team.
With everything and that Venezuela has not given him the support he required, the athlete clearly has a great commitment on his shoulders, since his desire has always been to represent his country with dignity and that his anthem be heard once each dispute is over.
"I feel that I live the best moment of my career and I should not waste it, I have always thought that if there are not possibilities on the one hand, one is looking for another, and just as I do on the track, when I find my space I open the gap, likewise I have to do in the economic, open the gap based on foreign support.
What is certain is that the Venezuelan cannot detract from merits, because nowadays he is not only world champion, double South American champion, but also an example of emergence in the sport of his country, and also has a great future ahead : "Thank God I have health, which is all I need to continue transcending. Today, there are many things I want to achieve. When I enter the track I forget everything and all I want is to win, and while I'm competing I'll always have that in my head".
In the end, Guzmán made clear the goal he has within the sport, and is no other than becoming the great reference in the history of Venezuelan skating, and of course continuing to transcend internationally, "from now on I return to Europe to prepare for the 2019 World Cup and the Pan American Games in Lima, which I want to win. Be champion of everything", he concluded.
Latin American Post | Freddy González
Translated from "Sebastián Guzmán: el patinador que surgió en medio de la crisis de Venezuela"