Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Solo Valle Solo!"


Every four years Colombia holds its Juegos Nationales (National Games). The event is officially hosted by one department, although some events are inevitably spread to other locations. The 2008 Games are being hosted by the department that includes Cali, the Valle del Cauca, with a few competitions happening in Buenaventura and the islands of San Andres and Providencia.

Last night I went to the fourth night of swimming competition. One of the highlights was getting to see a 2008 Bolivar graduate, Mateo De Angulo Velasco, win the 1500 M freestyle in 16:06.66. The hometown crowd went crazy with pride!

Another Vallecaucano swimmer, Camilo Becerra, has swum in three Olympic Games, including Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. I read in an article surrounding the event that this would be Camilo's last professional competition and how proud he was to end his career in his home department. Last night he got third in the 100 M butterfly. He was then carried off in a stretcher so there could have been something wrong...

I wore my UWEC Blugolds Swimming & Diving t-shirt and my red Manitowoc Swimming jacket (it was drizzling off and on) which turned out to be a good thing since 1) Valle's colors were red and silver and 2) I ended up sitting next to a section where a group of exuberant Valle supporters with drums and songs to boot positioned themselves. Never been to a meet with a drum section before!

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