Decades after Soraya’s triumph, weightlifting remains the best metaphor for Mexican sport. Carrying, lifting, supporting, carrying the weight on the shoulders, having sore hands and a very wide back, are just some visible signs of the strength, dignity and courage of Mexican athletes who, the Olympic Games, we let you see clearly. The Aremi Fuentes medal belongs to the hard line of Soraya in 2000, Damaris in 2008 and Luz Mercedes in 2012.
Born in Tonalá, Chiapas, and trained in Mexicali, Baja California, Fuentes’ bronze crosses from end to end the inhospitable territory of sports in our country: an unjust struggle for a lonely path that forges an extraordinary character. Overcoming obstacles or competing every day of your life is part of the nature of any athlete, but in Mexico, you have to add the component of helplessness. Races built in the intimacy of training and competition yield a handful of medalists whose triumphs have enormous significance.
Mexican medals in the Olympic Games are few, but very large. Each one multiplies the value of a German, American, British or Chinese medal several times. Ours are worth more, because they were minted alone. Imagining what our athletes, owners of a special character and claw, would be able to do with the support and attention that athletes of other nationalities receive, forces us to think that the Mexican has the power to become one of the most competitive sports in the world. .
The race of our athletes is a treasure, there are plenty of stories and examples to confirm that, in our country, there is a caste of champions. Enjoying the Olympic Games requires a good share of sports culture so as not to fall into the trap of jingoism, defeatism, pessimism and other dark symbolisms of Mexicanism, which try to reduce them to a game of winning or losing. You need to hear hundreds of Olympic feats like the barefoot peasant who crossed the finish line, the champion who lost a leg in war, or the women who lift a thousand and one tons, to understand them.
Jose Ramon Fernandez Gutierrez by Quevedo