The 2016 Rio Games kicked off with an opening ceremony speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who’s German but was speaking in English (with a somewhat thick accent). He spoke about the need for our world to care for one another. “We live in a world where selfishness is gaining ground,” he said.
Unfortunately, that’s not what Luis Gutierrez Chourio heard when translating Bach’s speech in Spanish for Venezuelan TV station TVES. So what did he hear?
“We live in a world where the selfies are everywhere!”
Obviously, it’s not the same thing, but it kind of sort of is, though. Selfies, after all, are somewhat selfish, and if they weren’t everywhere before, they certainly should be after this hilarious lost in translation moment:
Whether the Olympics will take place next year, as currently planned, remains up in the air thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic. Yet despite the bleak outlook and uncertainty, an Argentinian swimmer is determined to win no matter what.
Sebastián Galleguillo, a member of Argentina’s team of deaf swimmers, is determined to win gold despite the pandemic’s impacts.
In Argentina, it was announced on Wednesday that there have been 136,118 cases and 2,490 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic. In the early stages of the pandemic, Argentina’s response was to shut down shops, professional services, and outdoor recreation activities. For Galleguillo, this meant that his access to local training facilities was no longer available.
Still determined to keep in shape for the competition, Galleguillo built a makeshift pool in his backyard.
With the help of his father, Galleguillo set out to build a swimming pool for training in his backyard soon after he lost access to his local training spot.
“I said to my mom: I want to train again because I am becoming rigid, I am losing mobility in my body … It’s not the same to train outside as being in the water,” Galleguillo told Reuters in a recent interview.
Galleguillo’s father, Edmundo Hernandez, is a bricklayer and proved helpful in building the makeshift pool in their back yard. Using logs, plastic sheets, an old tank, and two metal drums, the two filled the pool with 400 liters of water.
“We made do with what we had here and we started building,” Hernandez told Reuters. “The first day was nailing logs on the floor, the second was putting sheets and plastics so that the water does not drain… Later, we bought a 15-meter-long by 4-meter wide plastic that forms a bag and that is what holds the water.”
Galleguillo’s new pool allows him to practice different swimming techniques which could be a boon.
According to Reuters, his new routine might just “give him a leg up over his competitors at the 2021 Deaflympics in Brazil.”
Normally, the Deaflympics (an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event) is held one year after the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. Similar to the Olympics they feature sports such as curling, judo, swimming, and tennis. They took place for the first time in 1924 and have occurred every four years since. The only time that they have been canceled was in 1944 because of World War II. After the war, the Paralympics became a more popular division of the Olympics in order to accommodate the large number of war veterans and civilians who had been injured during wartime.
In 2016, Mexicana Alexa Moreno traveled to Rio de Janeiro to compete for her country in the Olympics. Mexico rooted for her as she impressively competed in the uneven bars, floor exercise, beam, vault and more, earning 31st place. Meanwhile, instead of being deeply impressed by her skills, Mexican Twitter trolls body-shamed her. Not for long. Some people around the world rallied to her defense and pointed out her superior athleticism.
In fact, Mexico just awarded Moreno with the Premio Nacional del Deporte, naming her the best non-professional athlete in the entire country.
In a video shared to Twitter, gymnast Alexa Moreno thanked her supporters.
“Thank you for this recognition and thanks to all who have supported me on the way to get here,” she captioned the video. “Today, I was informed that I was the winner of the Premio Nacional del Deporte. I’m very shocked. The truth is that I didn’t imagine this would happen at all,” she told her fans in the video. “It’s a huge surprise. It’s very gratifying. Yes, I’m very, very happy. There’s nothing else to say but thank you to everyone. I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey. There’s been an entire circle of people around me. It’s not just me. It’s not just my job. I want to thank all the people who believed in me, for believing in me. Thank you very much.”
Moreno is the first Mexican woman gymnast to medal at a world championship.
Moreno became the first Mexican woman to medal at a world championship just last year, when she earned bronze on vault. Last month, Moreno competed in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Her performance on vault qualified her for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo!
Moreno’s supporters emoji-clapping all over Twitter.
“HONOR TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE,” tweeted sports journalist Jocelin Flores in Spanish. “Alexa Moreno, the first Mexican to climb the podium of the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, is the winner of the 2019 National Sports Award, Non-Professional category.” One mother tweeted at Moreno to say in Spanish, “Congratulations! You are a great role model for the children of the country.”
“The most deserved,” tweeted Twitter user Sebastián, “I think she’s already established herself as the best Mexican gymnast of all time.”
When the haters were hating, some people were creating beautiful illustrations of Moreno.
Moreno signed up for gymnastics when she was just 3-years-old. “Mexico needs people who prove that everything is possible,” Moreno told CCTV America in 2016. “You need to believe in yourself and fight to be able to do things that no one has ever done before.” Moreno is just 4’11” and 99 pounds. As the haters started deleting their tweets, Alexa Moreno went viral for all the fan art her inspirational performance generated.
We hope all the Mexican niñas are watching and being inspired by Moreno.
“I can’t believe the criticism and bullying of #AlexaMoreno,” one Mexican woman shared to Instagram, along with a video of her routine. “I see this routine and I applaud it, it excites me, it inspires me. This girl is a champion and an example to follow. I was a gymnast and BELIEVE ME it is very difficult to reach that level in this country where the support for gymnastics is almost nil. How can it be that instead of being proud and encouraging we are the first to trash her?!?! What kind of country are we? How do we intend to train valuable athletes if we are the first to throw them down?!?!”
Even though Moreno did nothing to achieve her beauty, we have to say, she’s so beautiful.
Of course, we should all be talking about how 23 years of regimented, back-breaking athleticism has made her Mexico’s best gymnast. That takes the kind of athletic work that many of us will never know. Moreno is also “drop-dead gorgeous” as my mom would say. Not that it matters.
Felicidades a la favorita de México!
We are rooting for you, Moreno! The medal that qualified her for the 2020 Olympics scored at a 14.508, less than one point behind the infamous U.S. gymnastics gold champion Simone Biles. Mexico has never taken home a medal in gymnastics. With Moreno competing on behalf of México, we’re high-key rooting she becomes the first Mexican to climb up on an Olympic podium to medal in gymnastics. Let the haters hate. Mexico loves you, Moreno, and so do we.