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Dominican Republic: Pride and Celebration of Félix Sánchez's Gold

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

The Dominican Republic is celebrating the gold medal Félix Sánchez, also know as “Super Félix” (@elsupersanchez [es]), won at the 400 hurdles event in the London 2012 Olympic Games. His achivement gives the Caribbean country its second Olympic gold medal. Sanchez had already made history by winning the first Olympic gold for the Dominican Republic in Athens 2004.

Along with Sanchez's gold medal, Dominicans are also exultant for the silver medal won by Luguelín Santos (@LuguelinSantos [es]) in the 400 mts. race. It is the first time that two Domincans win medals in Athletics events at the same Olympic Games, something that has caused great excitment in the country.

Félix Sánchez. Picture posted by Jonasmrcds in Wikimedia Commons and republished under License CC BY-SA 3.0

Félix Sánchez. Picture posted by Jonasmrcds in Wikimedia Commons and republished under License CC BY-SA 3.0

Sánchez's victory came in a very special moment when the future of his career was uncertain. He suffered an injury in 2004 during a race in the Golden European League that forced him to stay away from competitions for a while. When he came back his performance wasn't as good as before so many start suggesting he should retire. This, along with his age (34), was the reason his gold medal was a surprise for many.

But maybe the key story came just before he competed in the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008, when Sánchez received the terrible news of the death of his beloved grandmother. This affected his performance during those games. In fact, one of the most emotional moments [es] during his triumph last August 6 in London was when he pulled out a picture of his grandmother that he had put close to his chest, and dropped to the ground to kiss it. “Super Félix” also had the word “grandmother” written on his running shoes, and during the award ceremony he sobbed.

Dominican netizens have expressed their feelings for Félix Sánchez through Twitter [es]:

@YMHBONI@elsupersanchez gracias por darle este honor a Rep. Dom. Eres grande Félix.. Cuanto orgullo para nosotros.

@YMHNONI: @elsupersanchez thank you for giving this honor to the Dom.Rep. You are great Felix… how proud we feel.

@bellozaidy: Hoy fue un dia glorioso, donde el Dominicano donde quiera que este en cualquier rincon del mundo se conecto a través de una lagrima!

@bellozaidi: Today was a glorious day when every Dominican anywhere in the world was connected through a tear!

@Bagui44Nunez@elsupersanchez Dios te siga bendiciendo,lo que mas me gusta es el reconocimiento a tu abuela,eso te hace un hombre humilde.

@Bagui44Nunez: @elsupersanchez May God keep blessing you, what I liked the most was the tribute to your grandma, that makes you a humble man.

Luguelín Santos @LuguelinSantos [es] also took the opportunity to congratulate Sánchez:

@LuguelinSantos: Felicidades eres @elsupersanchez un verdadero campeon olimpico!

@LuguelinSantos: Congratulations @elsupersanchez you are a true Olympic champion!

The President Elect of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, joined the congratulations on Twitter [es]:

@DaniloMedina: El país está de fiesta. ¡Dos medallas en menos de una hora! Felicidades a Félix Sánchez y a Luguelín Santos por sus hazañas esta tarde

@DaniloMedina: The country is celebrating. Two medals in less than an hour! Congratulations to Féliz Sánchez and Luguelín Santos for their feats of this afternoon

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

* Thumbnail picture taken from this video.

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