London 2012 Olympics: Paraguay’s Warrior-Athlete Benjamin Hockin
A True Nationwide Hero
He may very well be a full-time swimmer for the British Olympic workforce or Spain, however he at all times needed to compete underneath the banner of Paraguay, a tiny South American nation generally known as one of many least-developed nations on the earth sporting.
Though Paraguay, one of many first impartial republics within the Western Hemisphere, doesn’t boast a 50 pool and regardless of its troubles with coaching and sports activities tools, Benjamin Hockin, whose father is Briton and mom is Paraguayan, loves competing with this landlocked nation. It’s a uncommon case within the Creating World the place numerous athletes, from boxers and footballers to fencers and archers, wish to turn out to be American/European residents. By the late Nineties, for instance, Africa’s Eunice Barber, who stands 1,91m tall, grew to become French sportswoman after competing as an athlete from the war-torn nation of Sierra Leone on the 1996 Atlanta Summer season Video games,the place she completed in fifth place within the ladies’s heptathlon.
Warrior- Athletes of Paraguay
Most of Paraguay’s wins have been produced by “warrior-athletes”, an envy to many Olympic leaders within the area. Within the latter half of the Nineteen Eighties, the nation’s workforce, made up of three combative sportsmen –Victor Manuel Pecci, Francis Gonzalez and Hugo Chapacu– defeated America within the Davis Cup preliminaries, at one time underneath the anti-Communist dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. Beforehand,within the early Nineteen Fifties, the ladies’s basketball workforce gained the South American Cup by defeating Brazil 20-19, and after that, they completed fifth on the World Match in Chile’s capital of Santiago. At house, by 1962, this aspect gained their second continental trophy effectively forward of Chile (silver medal) and Brazil (third).
Its different worldwide medals had been when the boys’s volleyball aspect captured the silver medal on the 1958 South American Championship in Porto Alegre (Brazil). Within the finals, Paraguay misplaced to host nation (which was known as one of many “most excellent squads” on the Planet between 1959 and 1966). By 1964, this Spanish-speaking republic was second within the ladies’s Volleyball South American Cup. Fifteen years later, the boys’s workforce picked up a bronze due to its victory over a Chilean squad.
Within the wake of their win within the Pre-Olympic Match in 1992, the footballers certified for the Summer season Video games. However in these years, the nation’s tennis emerged with two youngsters, Rossana de los Rios and Larissa Schaever. It was throughout that point when Rossana gained the Junior French Open. In a while, Edgar Baumann was topped because the second finest javelin thrower within the Western Hemisphere on the Pan American Video games in Mar del Plata’s Jose Maria Minella Stadium. Other than him, there have been different excellent athletes comparable to Nery Kennedy and Ramon Jimenez.
Over the following century, Paraguay, spearheaded by Jose Luis Chilavert after which by Roque Santa Cruz, grew to become one of many few international locations on the earth to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for fourth time in a row and after successful a silver medal within the 2004 Athens Video games (behind Argentina). Within the final international event in Sub-Saharan Africa, the nationwide squad –whose footballers typically use the native language Guarani to confuse their rivals– made worldwide headlines once they gained their group with 5 factors, forward of Slovakia, New Zealand and Italy. However Paraguay not solely has produced high athletes as Chilavert, Pecci, Gonzalez, Bauman, and Kennedy, however different idols like swimmer Benjamin Hockin.
Paraguay’s Goodwill Ambassador Benjamin Hockin
Benjamin Thomas Hockin Brusquetti was born on September 27, 1986 in Colombia’s metropolis of Barranquilla. After dwelling within the Caribbean Colombian, the place he realized to swim, he and his household moved to Paraguay, his mom’s nation. On this sparsely populated nation, Benjamin, generally known as “Benji”, found his “huge ardour” for swimming, competing in native golf equipment, amongst them Deportivo Sajonia. Upon taking a vacation in Tenerife (Spain), he made the choice to remain on Spaniard soil, the place her dad and mom had been working. There, he started a profession as an beginner swimmer within the Membership Deportivo Teneteide, whereas he completed his schooldays. When he turned 19, he left Spain for Britain to check English and to hunt new horizons. Throughout his stayed in Wales and England, he known as the eye for his data, receiving an invite to characterize Nice Britain. At the moment, he despatched his pre-Olympic outcomes to Paraguay, however his credentials weren’t accepted by the South American republic.
Upon turning into a British citizen, Benjamin made his worldwide debut on the European Match in 2006. The next 12 months, he headed for Australia to participate on the FINA World Championships. Then, Benjamin earned Olympian berths in two occasions within the Nationwide Trials, gaining the precise to take part on the 2008 Video games. Subsequently,he was one of many members of the British aspect that reached the finals within the males’s 4×100 freestyle relay within the Video games of the twenty ninth Olympiad in Beijing’s Nationwide Aquatics Centre (nicknamed the “Water Dice”).
Overcoming Big Obstacles
Though Nice Britain will likely be host the 2012 Olympic Summer season Video games, Benjamin, stands 1,96cm in top (6 ft 5 in), doesn’t wish to compete for the host nation. As an alternative of Britain,the place there are a number of swimming swimming pools, his dream is to be an Olympian athlete from Paraguay, the one one South American nation the place there’s not a single Olympic-size pool.
Earlier than being excluded for a 12 months from swimming by FINA attributable to an improper change of citizenship, he amassed eight medals (six silver) within the South American Championships at Medellin, Colombia, turning into the primary swimmer from Paraguay to win a medal within the Continental occasions since March 1976 as Emilio Abre completed third within the males’s 400-meter particular person medley at Uruguay’s metropolis of Maldonado, behind Brazil’s Carlos A. Rocha and the Pan American champ Jorge Delgado Panchana of Ecuador.
The 12 months 2011 turned out to be a particular 12 months for him. Why? Within the current Pan American Video games in Guadalajara, Mexico -the most essential pre-Olympic occasion within the Western Hemisphere-Benjamin had one in every of his best satisfactions when he deservedly was named the flag bearer for the Olympic nationwide workforce after which, on October 18, 2011, gave his nation its first particular person Pan American medal by ending third within the males’s 200m freestyle with a brand new South American document of 1:48:40, on the expense of Mathew Patton and Douglas Robison ( each from America). Two days earlier, he and his compatriots –Renato Prono, Jose Lobo, and his brother Charles– had missed out on a Pan American bronze medal within the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Regardless of enormous obstacles, he by no means declined to coach along with his team-mates, an Olympic spirit which as soon as had the legendary Anthony Nesty, a Trinidadian-born Surinamese swimmer (who defeated Matt Biondi twice within the late Nineteen Eighties), and Costa Rica’s Claudia Ballot. Quite the opposite, he intensified his efforts to enhance his data. In contrast to swimmers from Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru, he not had coaches and Olympian specialists (as nutritionists), in addition to sponsors. On daily basis, from morning to afternoon, he had skilled systematically at Paraguay’s solely 25-meter pool.
A couple of months of Olympics at London, Benjamin Hockin has turn out to be a job mannequin attributable to his humble persona, Olympic spirit, and his ardour for Paraguay. At a current interview, Benjamin mentioned, “For me Paraguay is my nation…It’s one other style (competing underneath the South American republic). I felt very proud to be Paraguayan.For this my declaration of affection to the nation”.
Due to his ardour, expertise, and self-discipline, he demonstrates that wonderful athletes are wonderful athletes wherever of the world particularly as he defeated People and Brazilians at Guadalajara 2011. Good luck Benjamin for London 2012! You are already a winner!
London 2012 Olympics: Paraguay’s Warrior-Athlete Benjamin Hockin
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1966 world cup squad