Rafael Vidal: Death of a true hero

February 16, 2005

It is indeed very sad, after seen how the Government paid homage to murdered prosecutor Danilo Anderson for political reasons, to see that the tragic death of Venezuelan Olympic medalist Rafael Vidal has not earned even a mention by any Government official.


Vidal won a bronze medal in swimming in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the only swimming medal ever by a Venezuelan. A Florida paper had this to say about this terrific individual:


“Rafael Vidal, the pint-sized Venezuelan who shocked the swimming world by winning the bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, died Saturday in a traffic accident in Caracas. He was 41.


Vidal was possibly the greatest swimmer in the world for his size. I detailed his Olympic effort in an August 2004 column, and feel fortunate to have met him a few times while I lived in Caracas. He was a good guy.


According to news reports, he was killed when a drag-racing Hummer struck his sedan.


It was unclear if anyone else was hurt in the wreck.


Vidal, a University of Florida graduate who worked as a radio and television sports commentator, leaves behind two small children.”


Vidal did what he did, through his own personal efforts and very hard work. After swimming he had a professional career and had a radio program on sports and individual efforts. He was a true hero, killed by irresponsible kids drag racing in a Hummer. His Corolla was dragged 40 yards by the speeding Hummer, killing him instantly. His death is a true loss for Venezuela, a man of values in a country with so few of them

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