Caracas, 08 Ago. AVN.- "You are a legion of heroes and heroines of the Homeland. That's how we recognize you, as heroes and heroines of Venezuela's youth, that which stood up and continues standing up."
This way Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez congratulated the performance of national athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games, who received international recognition after a gold medal and several Olympic diplomas.
In an event at Teresa Carreno Theater, in Caracas, President Hugo Chavez honored gold medal winner Ruben Limardo with the award Orden Libertador and a copy of national hero Simon Bolivar's sword.
Other athletes who recently came back from London were honored with the award Orden Generalisimo Francisco de Miranda. "I bow my head before you, heroes of national sports," Chavez said.
"We are proud of all our boys and girls, who were to shine in London, in these 2012 Olympics. For that reason, this event full of love, fondness and affection. Here we are as a family, because we are a great family; success of one, the success of the whole family," Chavez said in nationwide radio and television hookup.
President Chavez said the Revolutionary Government will continue recognizing the work of Venezuela's athletes as they come back from London. "They deserve it because they have faced every competition with all their might."
In addition, Chavez called on all Venezuelan Olympic athletes to continue building the new homeland with tenacity and sacrifice, setting the example.
He also recognized the work and dedication of athletes' families, as well as their trainers, physicians, therapists, psychologists, experts.
"Behind every athlete, there is an invisible army of trainers, physicians, families, experts and therapists. It's an army and effort of many years, permanent and tenacious through all days and hours," Chavez added.
Bolivar's sword for Limardo
Winner of the epee gold medal in London Olympics, fencer Ruben Limardo was decorated with Venezuela's highest distinction. "It is a honor for me to decorate you, on behalf of the people, with the Order Liberators of Venezuela, to hero of the homeland, Ruben Limardo," president Hugo Chavez said.
Ruben Limardo was decreed national hero by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez after making history in the country's sports.
He gave Venezuela a second gold medal in the history of such games after defeating Norweys' Bartosz Piasecki with final scores of 15-10.
Ruben Limardo emulated Venezuela's legendary boxer Francisco "Morochito" Rodriguez, who won the 48kg (light-flyweight) gold medal at 1968 Mexico Olympics.
The other athletes decorated on Tuesday were Betsy Rivas, Junior Sanchez, Inmara Henrriquez (Weightlifting); Danielys Garcia (Cycling); Giovanna Blanco, Ricardo Valderrama (Judo); Maribel Pineda and Leidys Brito (Shooting).
Also, Elias Malave (Shooting); Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafane (Volleyball); Maria Gabriela Martinez (Fencing); Cesar Marcano and Angel Pulgar (Cycling); Crox Acuna and Marcos Lavado (Swimming).
In turn, gold winner Ruben Limardo said he would give to his native state the copy of Liberator Simon Bolivar's sword he received on behalf of President Hugo Chavez.
"I will leave my sword at the house of Simon Bolivar in my home state of Bolivar (eastern Venezuela) because it deserves to be there for all people who go and visit the place, so that they can see the sword," said the Olympic champion.
"Thanks to the entire Venezuela and all this sports team. I love them so much and I'm very proud of being Venezuelan. Venezuelan heart," Limardo said to a large amount of people at the Theater.