Let’s give the dancing, ebullient Antonio Pardo all the medals.
The alpine skier and flagbearer from Caracas may be the only Venezuelan in this Olympics, but his jazzed up entrance into Fisht Stadium made sure his Opening Ceremony experience wasn’t overlooked.
Pardo danced and boogied in the Parade of Nations to the whooping delight of the audience in attendance.
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Turns out Pardo, 43, has got a lot to celebrate in addition to being his country’s sole athletic representative in Sochi.
Proud flagbearer Pardo.
When he was 8, Pardo was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was told he only had three months to live. A surgery to combat the tumor left him paralyzed on his left side. Pardo was forced to learn how to walk all over again, and eventually made a full recovery.
The alpine skier (who cites swimmer and Olympic powerhouse Michael Phelps as his hero) only started to ski competitively last year after he became unemployed.
"Before I didn’t have neither the time nor the resources, I had to work," he told panorama.com.ve in January. "I work in the financial area and with the paralysation of the stock markets I became unemployed, so I said to myself, ‘This is the moment to fulfil my dream.’"