BMX show promoting ‘dreams’ held in violence-stricken Caracas neighborhood

By Bárbara Agelvis

Caracas, Aug 14 (EFE).- A neighborhood in western Caracas known as Cota 905, which a month ago was the site of clashes and shootings between armed gangs and police, was on Saturday the scene of a freestyle BMX exhibition led by Venezuelan Olympic silver medalist Daniel Dhers, who aims to promote “dreams” and sport in his country.

The children of this neighborhood gathered to witness the show by Dhers and other Venezuelan athletes, including Edy Álvarez, who also participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and eight-year-old Camila Iachini, who dreams of competing in the 2032 Olympics.

“Here in Cota I’m not seeing problems. I’m seeing happy people who want to do things, so that’s what this is all about. It is to show the positive (…) because the good will always be able to be more than all the bad, and there were intense moments, but right now we are in times of peace,” he told the community.

The 36-year-old athlete, who dreams of participating in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, also called for “rebuilding” Venezuela and said that he thinks each Venezuelan is doing their bit.

“The Venezuelan who is in Venezuela is trying to rebuild their country; and those who left (the country) are rebuilding their future through Venezuela. You don’t know how many Venezuelan restaurants there are in the world, you have to believe in dreams,” he said.

Dhers was accompanied by other Venezuelan athletes such as Robeilys Peinado, who participated in the pole vault at Tokyo 2020, and who was also greeted with hugs by the residents of Cota 905.

The athlete told EFE that the recent Olympic Games should be used to introduce young people to “the path of sport.”

“The message that I always convey is not to give up, that things are possible. It is possible to achieve everything that we set ourselves to do in life,” said Peinado.

Meanwhile, eight-year-old Camila Iachini was also the center of attention as she was the only girl and the youngest to take part in the BMX exhibition.

She said she started in BMX after watching the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV.

“I watch television and I saw the 2016 Olympics. There I saw Mariana Pajón, Stefany Hernández and Jefferson Milano and I asked my parents if I could practice this sport and they said yes. At that time I was three years old and then at the age of three they gave me my bicycle, which was given to me by Santa Claus,” Iachini said, adding that her dream is to take part in the 2032 Olympic Games.

Violence broke out in Cota 905 a month ago during a police operation to dismantle armed groups in the area.

The police operation lasted for three days and led to the arrest of more than 30 people, according to the police, who have not announced the number of victims and deaths. EFE


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