“The central government does not know what damage it is causing to sport”: Bellingrodt

He didn’t really want to talk. Helmut Bellingrodt is so disappointed and hurt by the loss of the Barranquilla Pan American Games 2027 that he tried to hold back and dribble the dialogue with EL HERALDO.

But after thinking about it and encouraging himself, he finally chose to speak out and give his authoritative opinion. The first Olympic medalist from Colombia, winner of two silver medals in wild boar shooting (Munich 1972 and Los Angeles 1984), criticized the national government for the cancellation of the jousts in ‘Curramba’ by Panam Sports.

“That was news that had already been announced because of the political situation in this country and the misgovernance that we have. Sadly and unfortunately, they confuse politics, not politics, with sports. My opinion is actually that the person who is fully responsible for this is the national government through the Ministry of Sports,” said Bellingrotd, making it clear again and again that his opinions are purely personal and do not represent the Colombian Olympic Committee (COC) whose he is part. part, as a member.

“How is it possible that they go to Miami for a meeting with Panam Sports and promise and pledge to pay before December 30, while as official employees they know that this has not been prepared and that an investigation is needed. Even though the budget is available, we have to study very thoroughly how they are going to pay that money, which amounted to about 32 billion pesos. The total responsibility undoubtedly lies with the Ministry of Sports and the National Government, because the district government here in Barranquilla had already paid out 2 million 250,000 dollars some time ago. The national government’s commitment was to transfer $8 million by the end of 2023 (actually $4 million by December 31 and $4 million by January 31),” Bellingrodt said.

The former athlete understands that “Panam Sports could not cope anymore” and places all the blame for what happened on the government of Gustavo Petro.

“I’m too shocked because we put all the passion and enthusiasm into making this happen. Barranquilla deserves this and much more, but now that this from the National Government could not be fulfilled, the entity has logically taken away our headquarters and it is very sad, very regrettable, they do not know the damage that this decision of the National Government entails brings. not to have caused, to pay and not to fulfill. “They don’t know the damage they have done to the sport, not only in Barranquilla and the Caribbean, but across the country.”

Bellingrodt ruled out sanctions against Colombian sports delegations for this whole situation, but he does think that the country has no arguments to request venues for multi-competitive events and emphasized that “it is a shame for our sport and our sports leaders.”

“Twenty or thirty years will pass and they will not even accept a nomination from any city in Colombia, from any type of regional sports game, such as Central American, Bolivarian, South American and even less Pan American,” the former gunman said.

“The Colombian Olympic Committee has done a unique job through President Ciro Solano, who did his utmost! He did his utmost to ensure that the headquarters was not lost, but that was impossible given the refusal of the National Government. Always the deception and the lies, that it would be paid, that it would be fulfilled and that it would come to nothing. The Colombian Olympic Committee said it borrowed money to be able to pay even the first installment, look good for Panam Sports and not get the unfortunate news we have today that they took away our venue. The National Government is really the problem,” he added.

The legendary Barranquillero recalled that the problems started with the appointment of former weightlifter and Olympic medalist María Isabel Urrutia.

“Remember that there was an eight-month delay when María Isabel Urrutia unfortunately had to head the Ministry of Sports. That’s where the sport stagnated the most. All sports activities and the administrative part in sports were delayed. That was a total stalemate. It is a pity to say this, because I admire María Isabel as an athlete and as the first Olympic gold medalist, but we have to distinguish between the sports part and the administrative part,” said Bellingrodt.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think it was something that we fell asleep… we didn’t fall asleep or anything, it was just negligence on the part of the national government,” he noted.

Source: El heraldo