The Colombian baseball team overcame chilling temperatures and stiff competition to clinch their first gold medal in the sport at the Panamerican Games, dominating Brazil with a 9-1 victory.
10/28/2023.- Colombian players pose with the gold medal in baseball, during the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (Chile). EFE/ Osvaldo Villarroel
The Latin American Post Staff
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Leer en español: El triunfo de Colombia contra el frío: conquistar el oro en béisbol en los Juegos Panamericanos
Colombian Baseball's Triumph Over Winter
As the Chilean springtime struggled to shake off the remnants of winter, the Colombian baseball team, led by José Mosquera, faced an unexpected adversary during the Panamerican Games – the cold. Despite the weather in Cerrillos plunging to a chilling 15 degrees Celsius, feeling more like 12, the team rose above the physical discomfort to seize a historic victory.
Baseball, a game often associated with sunny skies and warm summer days, found its players battling not only their opponents but the elements themselves. For batters, cold weather can be particularly challenging; the sting of the bat hitting the ball is sharper and more painful. However, this did not deter the Colombian team. On the final game day against Brazil, they powered through, achieving an astounding 17 hits, leading to a 9-1 triumph.
The Path to Victory: Overcoming the Cold
The journey to this golden moment was not without its struggles. The day before, facing Mexico, the Colombian team endured shivering cold. "Yesterday against Mexico, we were trembling from the cold we felt, but to win gold, you have to go through all kinds of adversity, even the cold we had to battle," Mosquera told the press after the match.
Mosquera recounted how the prospect of rain and the biting cold that morning made the team yearn for a swift victory. "It hit us. It was quite strong. Many of them didn't want to bat in the cold, but it had to be done to keep them in rhythm," he added.
Colombia suffered initial defeats, losing first to Cuba and then to Brazil. "The boys stayed with that thorn. They wanted Brazil. Since we lost, they said that it was the team that would reach the final, and they would meet them. They had a lot of confidence," admitted Mosquera. Demonstrating the group's tenacity, Colombia's first two losses were only by a one-run difference, showcasing their fighting spirit.
Resilience and Family Spirit
Nonetheless, the team regrouped spectacularly, defeating Venezuela 6-2, Mexico 10-2, and Panama 2-1, which marked their first-ever advancement to the gold medal game in the Panamerican Games. Mexico, earlier on Saturday, claimed the bronze medal by overpowering Panama 10-2.
More than just a team, the Colombian squad is a family. Many players have known each other since their teenage years, having played together on teams like the Caimanes de Barranquilla, which won the 2022 Caribbean Series – another first for a Colombian team. "It's a group that has lost stage fright, who knows how to play together, and obviously as part of the 'staff,' I go about setting up the pieces from the preselection," Mosquera highlighted.
Having shed their stage fright, the team, which had only 15 days to prepare for the Santiago Panamerican Games, was set to showcase their heavy artillery in batting. "We knew about the offensive power we had. This is a very offensive team that produces many runs," the manager affirmed.
Victory Over Adversity
And produce they did. With their gold medal victory, the Colombian baseball team not only showcased their sporting excellence but also their ability to rise above challenging conditions, proving that resilience and teamwork can indeed overcome even the coldest adversities.