It is time to realize that our potential in Colombia is not limited to two goals, 22 men and one ball. Our talent is much bigger than that
Colombia's Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, bottom left, celebrate defeating France's Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin during the men's doubles final match on day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday, July 13, 2019/ AP Photo/ Ben Curtis
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez
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Last July 13 can be considered as a historic day for Colombian sport, as Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah's triumph in the Wimbledon doubles final is a big deal.
Leer en español: ¡No más! Colombia, el mundo no gira en torno al fútbol
The Colombian duo won their first Grand Slam title after they defeated the Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Édouard Roger-Vasselin with scores of 7-6, 7-6 and 6-3, bringing out the cry out of Colombians' throats after more than five-hour match.
Also, in Barcelona, Spain, the Colombian skating team was crowned champion of the world during the competitions that took place in that city, with 40 medals in the overall medals table, of which 20 were gold. Thus, Colombia won the 17th title of its history and the tenth successive one.
However, it is incredible to think that the country only lives for soccer. We are not part of the world history of this sport, in fact not even in South America. So, when will we realize that soccer is not Colombia's main sport?
Do not take me wrong. I love soccer and I will tirelessly support the Colombian National Team and any player or team that excels worldwide. I will always dream of the moment when a Colombian player lifts the World Cup trophy or, even, once again, that of the Copa América. But we can not live from dreams, when the beautiful reality is lived elsewhere and with other people who can also fill us with national pride.
In disciplines such as cycling, skating, and now tennis, we have shown the necessary character and talent to reach global recognition and maintain. With soccer, unfortunately, no.
The best world result we have in soccer is a fifth place in Brazil 2014 (we lost in the quarterfinals against one of the worst Brazilian teams in history) and a third place in the U-20 category, in the 2003 World Cup. On the contrary, for example, in cycling, we have achieved victories in two Vuelta a España (1987 and 2017) and a Giro d'Italia in 2014. In skating, we are one of the best teams, if not the best, in the whole world. In athletics, Catherine Ibargüen has given us two medals in the Olympic Games (one of them gold in Rio 2016), as well as weightlifting (two gold) with María Isabel Urrutia and Óscar Figueroa. Mariana Pajón's achievements, double Olympic champion (London 2012 and Rio 2016), as well as several world and Pan-American titles can not be left aside.
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Undoubtedly, they are great athletes in huge disciplines that have left the name of the country high and that, unlike soccer players, have gotten achievements, titles, cups, medals and not only create illusions.
Cabal and Farah now join this elite group of sportspeople. No other Colombian tennis player had achieved a Grand Slam title and they did it. This comes after years of dedication, sacrifice and effort. Against everything and everyone. Without the best sponsors, without big media at their feet, nor the comforts or protagonism of soccer players.
We should remember that Colombian soccer players, in their arrival in the country in 2014, were received with a fire truck, concerts, and carnival after they got the fifth place, as if they had been victorious; whereas the most probable thing is that the true champions won't even get a caravan. I am almost certain that a table at the Colombian Tennis Federation, a few words of congratulations and a few applauses will be the acknowledgments to these two tennis legends of our country.
With all this, I am very happy about the Wimbledon title, not only for Juan Sebastián and Robert, but also for the new generations that have watch it. I hope that in the hearts of Colombian children grows the illusion that under the Christmas tree there would is a tennis racquet and not just a soccer ball. It is time to create in the youngest the sporting feeling for other disciplines beyond soccer.
"Hopefully we can give this last joy to Colombia that deserves it so much," Cabal said one day before the final. And so he did. Now is the time to continue fighting, for you and for Colombia. Please, do not take our insolence into account. We recognize that the passion of soccer has blinded us and that you deserve much more. Even so, go on, keep on fighting. The new generations will thank you.