Vicente Almonacid is only 19 years old but he already has a great projection for his sports future. The swimmer participated for the first time in the Parapan American Games in Lima 2019, where he obtained three medals: a gold in 100m Chest (SB8 class), a silver in 200m Combined Individual (SM8 class), and a bronze in 50m Freestyle (class S8).
But for the young man those results were not enough. He also set the new Parapan American record for the 100m breaststroke by completing the test in 1 minute, 13 seconds and 14 hundredths. Vicente, who is already classified for the next Paralympic Games in Tokyo, seeks to replicate and improve his achievements in Lima 2019 for what will be Santiago 2023.
You have had a great development in recent years and you have a great projection. What are your goals for Santiago 2023?
Lima was the first Parapan American Games I attended and it was an incredible party. For me, the results were as expected and even much more, such as the bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle, which made me very happy. Having the possibility of replicating that in Santiago 2023 perhaps with more medals of different colors, in my country and in the pool where I train every day, is much more satisfactory. I really want Santiago 2023 to arrive and that we can hit a home run.
What are your expectations for Santiago 2023?
I feel that it will be much more media, people will be able to become familiar with the sport and perhaps include it as a way of life. It will also allow faces that are important to Chilean sports to be recognized. They are going to install a sports culture, since they are going to have the Games at home. It is not the same to see a great sporting event on TV, to see them in the same stadium where they compete, where you can directly encourage your compatriots.
What benefits do you think the event will bring to Chile?
Many times I have wondered what bad things this event can bring to Chile and I can't think of any, mainly because sport is life. For my part, I am happy to be able to compete at home and to be encouraged by the Chilean audience.
What should not be missing from the Games?
In Lima there was a very high level of infrastructure and I can see that Chile is also targeting that. The same is true of the organization of the Games, although they were my first, I have attended several international competitions and you can see when a tournament or event is well organized. I believe that the issue of infrastructure and a good organization is what should not be lacking in Santiago 2023.
What are the future challenges for Vicente Almonacid?
For now I am thinking about my first Paralympic Games. For me it is a huge pride to represent Chile in the most important event we can go to, so I have very high expectations of my performance. For now my job is to lower my marks and get stronger and faster in the water, in the last World Cup I started fourth, so I hope I can get on the podium and get a medal in Tokyo. To be the best version of myself in the Games and to be able to give, in some way, a joy to Chile.
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