Venezuela's Olympic Hero Gets A Parade To Celebrate Long-Awaited Gold

Venezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years. i i

hide captionVenezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years.

Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images
Venezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years.

Venezuelan gold medal fencer Ruben Limardo (center) greets supporters after arriving in Caracas Monday. Limardo was received at the airport as a national hero, after winning the first gold medal for Venezuela in 44 years.

Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Caracas, Venezuela, were awash in joy Monday, as fencer Rubén Limardo brought home the country's first gold medal in 44 years. That's right: the last time a Venezuelan Olympian won gold was in 1968. So, Limardo's fans could be forgiven for going a little crazy over it.

"I never imagined they'd receive me like this," he said.

Limardo was treated to a parade to celebrate Venezuela's second gold medal in its history. The country's first Olympic gold was won by boxer Francisco "Morochito" Rodriguez, who met Limardo at the airport as he returned from London. Rodriguez wore his gold medal — and the pair then compared their Olympic bling.

It took a string of upsets for Limardo, the No. 12 seed, to reach the gold-medal match in the epee.

And he kept a workmanlike attitude throughout the Summer Games, endearing himself to many in England by taking a packed commuter train after his triumph — still in his track suit and with a gaudy gold medal hanging around his neck.

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