Peru Pan Am medallist rejects hometown award after being 'denied support'

November 9, 2023 4:11 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Canoeist Eriberto Gutierrez wants Peru to make good on laws that it enacted to boost the country’s sporting achievements after the Pan Am Games medallist rejected an award from his hometown due to what he said was a lack of support.

Gutierrez was invited to a ceremony celebrating the city of Abancay’s heritage last Saturday, where the 30-year-old was to be feted for his bronze medal in the kayak cross competition at the Games in Santiago last month.

However, after receiving a diploma and medal at the event, Gutierrez hit out at Mayor Raul Pena before leaving the awards on the floor.

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“How ironic to receive recognition when the effort was mine alone,” Gutierrez said in a video of the event posted on social media. “Really, Mr. Mayor, at the time you denied me support. All of you. This is my effort. Thank you very much.”

Gutierrez later said in a post on Facebook that the mayor had always “turned his back” on him and that laws to promote sport were simply “for decoration”.