98-year-old Venezuelan Olympian awarded his OLY

23 | 10 | 2023

Venezuela’s first Olympian, Julio César León OLY (Cycling, 1948), has been awarded his OLY certificate and pin at his home in Caracas.

The 98-year-old Olympian was personally visited by Venezuelan Association of Olympic Athletes President, four-time Olympian in fencing Alejandra Benítez OLY, Venezuelan Olympic Committee President and Olympian in softball, Maria Soto OLY, as well as the general secretary, judoka Katiuska Santaella OLY, together with WOA Americas Development Officer, Inés Remersaro OLY.

The next day saw the founding General Assembly of the Venezuela Olympians Association in the auditorium of the Venezuelan Olympic Committee. 61 Olympians were there representing four generations and ten Olympic Games ranging from Munich 1972 to Tokyo 2020.

Among them were the first female Venezuelan Olympic medalist, Adriana Carmona OLY, bronze in Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004 (Taekwondo-Barcelona 1992, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008), Stefany Hernández OLY bronze in Rio 2016 (BMX Cycling- London 2012, Rio 2016), and Rostín González (Basketball- Barcelona 1992).

Venezuelan Olympians Association President Alejandra Benítez OLY said: "We thank the WOA for the support through our Service to Olympians grant. We are very happy to have held our first recognition ceremonies for our Olympians. It was a very emotional and special event as we were able to give our first Olympian his certificate and OLY pin, as well as the 61 Olympians who were present in the VOC auditorium." 

WOA President Joël Bouzou OLY said: “We are delighted to see our Service to Olympians grant put to such excellent use. Recognising the first Olympian from Venezuela is a proud moment and we thank the Venezuelan Olympians Association for all their hard work.  OLY recognises the achievements of Olympians and their commitment to use the Olympic values and the power of sport to make the world a better place. We wish the 61 Olympians honoured at the General Assembly all the best for the future.”