Venezuelan track cyclist Daniela Larreal has plenty of Olympic experience: four appereances in the last five games (she missed Beijing 2008 due to an accident) and she has qualified for London 2012. But last week, she faced her biggest challenge yet, even before actually competing: getting the neccesary funds to actually go to the Games.
Larreal’s record is impressive and she shouldn’t have any problems finding support, but while training in Switzerland she went on a Twitter rampage against the Sport Ministry for putting her presence on the Olympics on jeopardy. The reason: administrative delays with her funding. She also accused the government of leaving her and other olympians behind while spending millions on Pastor Maldonado’s Formula 1 adventure.
This is not Larreal’s first brush with controversy. While she has openly supported President Chavez, she was left out of some event in the last Pan-American Games due to her critisism of the Sports Law.
It looks like this story, at least, has a happy ending: following much pressure, her funds were authorized and Daniela will be able to compete in London after all, for now. The lesson, though, is clear: the ease of getting official Venezuelan support for your sporting career is directly proportional to the carbon you emit while practicing it!