Author: Lima 2019 press release Lima, 12 August 2019


Ecuador dominated the 50 km race walk event and won two gold medals. The athletics event at Lima 2019 concluded in the middle of tears of emotion.


Ecuadorian athletes shined once more in the Lima 2019 race walk event. In the cold morning of Miraflores, two more triumphs were added to the gold medal won by Daniel Pintado in the 20 km event held on August 4. Claudio Villanueva and Johana Ordóñez dominated the 50 km race and, both, got emotional with the achieved victory while crossing the finish line with their flag.

Villanueva’s dedication was touching. Twelve years ago, his father disappeared while hiking the mountains of Cajas, in his native city of Cuenca and, until now, his whereabouts are unknown. His eternal memory has strengthened the Ecuadorian race walker in all of his races, and these Pan American Games were not the exception.

“My family is my greatest strength. Each time I fall, I get motivated to keep moving forward because I remember my missing father and each time my son moves, as he has cerebral palsy. And to my father, is you are alive, this gold medal goes to you; but if you are no longer amongst us, look after me always from heaven,” mentioned the champion.

Then, Johanna Ordóñez, who also trains in the training base of Cuenca, won with comfort in the women's category. In this event, the Peruvian Yoci Caballero finished seventh beating her personal record of 4h 31m 33s and ended with tears in her eyes, due to the moving support from the crowd.

“I have mixed emotions. I am grateful for the cheers of the people, many who I do not know, but I would like to hug everyone; however, I am also sad because I could not give a medal to my country. The gold medal I take with me is that after so much time I reunited my family (they were between the spectators), after so much time apart,” mentioned the Peruvian athlete.

There are many stories like this one in sports. We need to value each person’s efforts. It is not about winning or losing in life.

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