44 years later, a Venezuelan wins Olympic gold


Francisco “Morochito” Rodriguez is no longer the only one.

Fencer Ruben Limardo beat Norway’s Bartosz Piasecki in the individual men’s épée final, taking the first Olympic gold medal for Venezuela since 1968, and only the second ever.

Four years ago, in Beijing he was 23rd.

It’s true that another Venezuelan athlete Arlindo Gouveia won Olympic gold in Barcelona 1992, but at the time Taekwondo was only an exhibition sport (it entered the Olympic program in Sydney 2000), so it’s not considered fully official. The more you know…

Congratulations to Mr. Limardo for his historic achievement. It’s only a matter of time before the hashtag #NoImpoltaLimardoGano hits the Twittersphere.

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  1. His tweet a few weeks ago:

    ruben limardo ‏@rubenoszki

    Y lo mas preocupante para mi fue!! clasificar sin el apoyo del Ministerio del deporte. El presidente tiene q estar enterado de esto.

  2. A great achievement in an Olympic sport.
    Will he join Maldonado on stage with Chavez?
    I bet Ruben Limardo paid for his own epee and training.

  3. Take that you imperialist democratic countries. Venezuela can get a gold medal too.
    How long before Chavez appropriates the gold from him?

    • It has already begun. Chavez is returning to Venezuela and who’s waiting at the airport: Sport Minister and Olympic Tourist Hector Rodriguez. In cadena, of course.

      • Chavez spoke with Limardo by phone. The conversation was brief. Now he’s focusing on Mercosur. This cadena looks to be long.

  4. OMG, how great is that? Y nada que ver con Maldonado. El mérito es mayor porque ganó sin la maquinaria del gobierno. Será porque no es chavista?

    Thx GEHA, also Miguel for that very revealing tweet.

      • So RL opened the door to the political angle. Qué pena. And yet, for me, it doesn’t take away from his win or his extraordinary efforts. Tiene muuucho mérito.

  5. I was trying to find where he trains but I couldn’t find anything. I read something about “Piast Gliwice, Poland” in his Athlete profile, so I’m assuming he trains there?
    In any case, I’m very happy for this GOLD medal, way to go Ruben Limardo!!

  6. I’m really looking forward to seeing both Limardo and Morochito Rodriguez together in a picture. That would be unforgettable.

  7. Venezuela has not been waiting 44 years since the first gold medal in 1968. Arlindo Gouveia won a gold medal in TaeKwondo in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. Therefore, this is the THIRD GOLD MEDAL, not the second!
    Venezuela no ha esperado 44 años desde la primera medalla de oro en 1968. Arlindo Gouveia ganó medalla de oro en TaeKwondo en los juegos olímpicos de Barcelona en 1992. Por lo tanto, esta es la TERCERA MEDALLA DE ORO, no la segunda!

    • …And you think you know better than everyone else.

      Taekwondo was a demonstration sport in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games; therefore, that gold medal is not official and does not count towards the number of Venezuelan medal winners at the Olympic Games.

    • Te quedó buenísimo, Verónica, tu refutación de la burrada absurda que había escrito GEHA.

      “It’s true that another Venezuelan athlete Arlindo Gouveia won Olympic gold in Barcelona 1992, but at the time Taekwondo was only an exhibition sport (it entered the Olympic program in Sydney 2000), so it’s not considered fully official.”

      You sure showed HIM!

  8. Y nadie recuerda el robo que le hicieron a Pedro Gamarro en Montreal, cuando le regalaron la pelea al alemán; un oro robado (hasta sillas tiró el público al ring, la siguiente pelea se demoró media hora por las protestas)

    • Polish. The badge belongs to Piast Gliwice, a multi-sport club from Gliwise (South Poland) which includes fencing. Apparently he was a member and trained there. In their website, he’s now on the frontpage. Poland was a powerhouse on fencing in the sixties and early seventies. In fact, Bartosz Piasecki the Norway fencer that Limardo defeated at the final is from Polish origin and his father was member of the Polish fencing national team.


    • He’s definitely speaking Polish. Though I was thinking Russian, at first. (A few Russian words are still used in the northern Baltic areas of Poland.) Then I heard dobrze, which means, loosely, well or all right. He speaks very, very well. (I feel bruta for being so slow to pick it up. Then again, I’ve only visited the country twice for under a month each time.) Very interesting country, lots of history, much of it tragic, people and environments are more relaxed than in Germany. I like Poland.

  9. I am sure that shortly after Limardo had won, and he was walking around with he Venezuelan flag, I saw Pastor Maldonado taking pictures of Limardo with an Iphone… He hag a gray baseball cap backwards, and besides him was member of the Venezuelan team.

  10. Another son of the regime makes Venezuelans proud…Sorry, I’m just not feeling it.

    Ten years ago I would have been proud of my country, but now it’s just more international brownie points for Chavez.

    • Exactly the way I feel.

      Even though we know what really happened with the lack of government support for him the cult members will only learn what VTV has to say.

  11. A guy like Limardo, quietly plugging away in obscurity at one of those totally unheralded olympic sports, getting toted around Ciudad Bolívar by his mom to go to trainings, improving, going on to teach himself Polish – POLISH! – to get access to the best training, then bringing it all together in one amazing burst of virtuosity, skill and luck…I can totally get behind that!

    Good on him!

    • I agree. His twitter feed further shows that this is a mature young man whose feet are on the ground. I’m very impressed. Y nada que ver con Maldonado.

      • Are we looking at the same twitter feed?


        “ruben limardo ‏@rubenoszki
        Gracias a todos por felicitarme. Y al presidente chavez por nombrarnos en cadena nacional. Viva la esgrima de Venezuela”

        “ruben limardo ‏@rubenoszki
        “@JJuniorCordero: Envíen sus comentarios con la etiqueta #ConChávezHayFuturo a @VTVcanal8″palante comandante! No hay quien lo detenga.”


        His feet are on SOMETHING, alright.

        • You’re right. In part.

          RLs tweet to JJrCordero definitely plays into the political angle. (Too bad.) As such, RL himself opened the door to politicians who simply folllowed through and appropriated RLs win for their own designs.

          As for RLs thanks to all, and to chavez for naming him and his team on (forced) national broadcasting, well this is softer politics mixed with diplomacy. That is, softer than the tweet to Cordero which actively promotes chavez as a candidate.

          Having said all that, I don’t care what political stripe RL is. He trained long and hard, he prepared himself well, and he executed brilliantly.

          It’s too bad that politics had to enter the equation.

          Can you imagine North American or Euro athletes promoting a candidate?

          • But that’s my point. With the current state of Venezuelan politics, it is not the same as posing with Obama or Merkel after winning a gold medal. The battle lines have been drawn by the government itself, and no matter what your gain and background is, you are either for or against the regime and all it stands for.

            Sure, there would have definitely been reprimands had he been outspoken against Chavez, but that type of politics is what you support once you support Chavez, no matter what you are getting out of it. Did 30,000 PDVSA workers realized that they have to pretend to support the government or else they would have been fired?

            It is unfortunate, and I wish I could celebrate the victory of a clearly-talented athlete, but the fact that politics always enter the equation just makes me not care about the Dudamels, Maldonados and Limardos.


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