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Guatemala Celebrates Erick Barrondo's Silver in Race Walk

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

Guatemala is celebrating its first victory during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. On Saturday, August 4, Erick Barrondo Garcia won the silver medal at the Men's 20km Race Walk. As the news broke, social media users, including politicians and other personalities, clapped and celebrated Barrondo's well-deserved victory.

Pop-star Ricardo Arjona (@Ricardo_Arjona) [es] congratulates him warmly:

@Ricardo_Arjona: Erick Barrondo. Que Dios te bendiga. Mas orgulloso que nunca. Nuestra primer medalla gracias a vos. Que viva Guate.

@Ricardo_Arjona [es]: Erick Barrondo God bless you, I am more proud than ever. Our first medal thanks to you. Viva Guate!

Vice President Roxana Baldetti (@roxanabaldetti) [es] writes on Twitter:

Erick Barrondo at the 2011 Pan American Games. Photo by Flickr user aula2pl, used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC 2.0)

@roxanabaldetti: Erick Barrondo es ejemplo de esfuerzo y valentía. Dios lo bendiga! La medalla es un sueño hecho realidad!

@roxanabaldetti [es]: Erick Barrondo is an example of effort and courage. God bless him! The medal is a dream turned into reality!

Sports commentator Edgar Galindo (@Galindogt) shares a picture of the remarkable athlete in the podium, ready to get his medal. Barrondo looks moved by the victory.

Erick Barrondo was born in Aldea Chuyuc, in the San Cristóbal Verapaz municipality, one of the poorest areas of the country which has been particularly affected by the war on drugs. It has been reported that his village and the entire country are getting ready for the celebration.

According to Opina el Balón (@opinaelbalon) [es], Barrondo sent the following message to his nation:

@opinaelbalon: Erick Barrondo: “Me voy a sentir tan orgulloso si alguien deja una pistola y la cambia por unos zapatos para ir al estadio a entrenar”

@opinaelbalon [es]: Erick Barrondo: “I will be very proud if someone leaves the gun and exchanges it for a pair of sneakers to go to the stadium and train”

In a country where violence, corruption and poverty are daily news, this triumph is welcomed as a reason to celebrate how hard work and a supportive family can turn a dream into reality.

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

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