Omara Durand: «I Can't Leave that Image Of Me»

Omara Durand: «I Can't Leave that Image Of Me»
Fecha de publicación: 
30 November 2023
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The information spread from mouth to mouth, a sotto voce, as if it were a matter of the utmost seriousness. And it was... Omara Durand did not appear on the official lists as the winner of the previous event on the track.

A few minutes before she had entered first in the 400 meters T12 category with that exuberant distance over her rivals, the same as her 13 gold medals in the Parapan American Games, the same that does not surprise anyone.

Omara has the alchemist's formula to turn everything she runs into gold. That’s why it was surprising that she was not the winner, so much so that shock invaded connoisseurs like a pandemic of absurdity that spread quickly.

Soon everyone was talking about rule 7.9.5 and its interpretations, the one regarding assistance to athletes. It went from an insignificant paper postulate to the most acclaimed and studied. That is also generated by Omara: news.

More valid claims occurred to support the champion than to cause the officials to change the ruling. The final verdict was filled with bigger adjectives while the stretch in which Durand let go of her guide to enter the finish line with open arms grew narrower. She celebrated what no one else achieved in her category.

The news of the disqualification devastated everyone, but hit her more so, without consolation and the center of controversy and disappointment. ¨I am deeply sad with the people of Cuba. People follow me and wait for my race to enjoy it,” she responded about the event hours later, when she should have been celebrating her birthday.

If you listen to the finality of the decision, if you tear through the skin of legality, the verdict seemed cruel and exaggerated. However, justice is not given to assessments rather than facts.

¨The saddest thing of all is that I ran, that they saw me, that people enjoyed it and suddenly they say on the news that they disqualified me. “I feel very sorry for that,” she explains, overwhelmed by the cyclothymia derived from the events.

Her responsibility is amazing because she is not selfish, she is not moved by the vanity of numbers, nor does she need the self-complacent statistic of a medal because she has so many that she could distribute: Omara is hurt thinking on her people.

¨The effort, the sacrifices and the results have led me to that, I know what it means to the people of Cuba, to my family, to the country. Everyone trusts me and suddenly this happens, it's not the same as having beaten me, having taken a lead, having stepped on a line, but not like that... ¨, she claims, still overcome with emotion and the anguish.

Then she recovers from the sentimental abyss she is in because she understands more than many about improvement. "I can't leave that image of me, this is going to happen because my greatest effort is to arrive in the best shape to the world competition in Japan and then to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games."

¨I promised Yuniol –the guide- and Miriam, my coach, that that would never happen again. “I have felt the greatest sadness of my entire career,” she says with the shame and courage with which she assumes any responsibility.

The tears of her guide and hers will stop. It will happen in Japan and in Paris, when she enters the finish line with the honor of fair play, invested with dignity and shame.

Then she will be able to dedicate it, as she wanted this time, to what she called "the greatest man in the terrestrial world", Fidel. That day in Paris, the last of her career, she will go hand in hand with Yuniol Kindelán until the end.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / Cubasi Translation Staff

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