Thursday, January 20

From Vilafant to Cuba, the solidarity Olympiad of Joel González and Camila Lores

Joel González and Camila Lores with medicines collected at the reception of the Tae-Sport gym.

Joel González and Camila Lores with medicines collected at the reception of the Tae-Sport gym.
Mary Vivas

Since last Wednesday and throughout this week, the Vilafant Tae-Sport gym is the a center for the collection of material and medicines destined to appease the health crisis in Cuba. The initiative has been promoted by the Olympic taekwondo champion Joel gonzalez and his partner, the graphic designer Camila Lores, of Cuban origin. During the first days of this solidarity campaign, its promoters have not stopped receiving good news in the form of donations. “In principle,” explains Joel, “we only wanted to receive the material last Wednesday, but we soon saw that people and entities wanted to collaborate and that we needed a little more margin to be able to collect everything and send as many things as possible.”

Before starting the collection, Camila and Joel spoke with the Cuban consulate to ensure that the shipment could be made and the response was positive. “In Cuba the health crisis derived from the pandemic is causing many problems, because the embargo on our island makes it very difficult to buy products abroad, “explains Camila Lores. She is Cuban and has lived in Spain for two years. Her family has members who belong to the health sector and who know the health sector well. problematic, as is the case of his grandfather and his aunt, doctors by profession.

“The mobilizations of people when they go out on the streets in recent days have only accentuated the transmission of the coronavirus. There is a lack of medicines, equipment. We have a medical sector of recognized quality, but they lack the means to act”, Add.

Joel González acknowledges that “the expressions of solidarity received have been great. People have brought us medicines, masks, gels and there are pharmacies, even two in Barcelona, who have contacted us to provide us with more products. There are also people, friends and acquaintances, who have sent us money to acquire “. Camila Lores is clear that” the most important thing is to save lives. On Cuba there is a high percentage of the aging population and that makes the sector of people at risk very high “.

The reception of the gym on Empordà street, very close to the Figueres-Vilafant AVE station, the first that connects Catalonia and Spain with the rest of Europe, has at times looked like a pharmacy. Everything is for a good cause.

From the tatami to the microphone to comment on the Tokyo games

Joel González (Figueras, 1989) decided, a few months ago, to leave his high-level sports career in taekwondo. In his curriculum there are two Olympic medals, the Gold of the London 2012 Games and the Bronze of Rio 2016. He has also achieved two world championships (2009 and 2011) and two Europeans (2010 and 2012). His decision was influenced by disagreements with the management of the current board of the Spanish Federation. From Rio he began to prepare to go to the Tokyo 2020 Games, but the injuries stopped him and, later, the suspension derived from the pandemic, opened a window that was soon closed.

But Joel González, a criminology graduate, will be present at the Games in the Japanese capital in a different way, from outside the tatami, as a commentator on TVE. “I am very excited. I will participate in the broadcast of the opening ceremony and as a commentator for the taekwondo competitions. I hope to succeed!”.

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