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SBD Global/August 16, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Cyclist Nairo Quintana Receives Warm Welcome Home In Native Colombia

Cyclist Nairo Quintana, top left, signs autographs upon his return to Bogotá.
Colombian cyclist NAIRO QUINTANA, who recently finished second in the Tour de France, "is already a hero in Colombia, a national star and the country's No. 1 athlete." Quintana, 23, "brought the streets of Bogotá to a standstill upon his return" and had a meeting with Colombian President JUAN MANUEL SANTOS. Quintana flew from Madrid back to Colombia for the first time since the Tour de France on Tuesday, with "hundreds of fans greeting him at the airport." Quintana also participated in "an open-top bus parade through Bogotá" (EL PERIODICO, 8/14). In London, Arturo Wallace reported "Colombia is a proud cycling country and past glories include LUIS HERRERA's victory at the Spanish Vuelta in 1987, SANTIAGO BOTERO's Time Trial World Championship in 2002" and RIGOBERTO URAN's Silver Medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Quintana: "In 30 years' time I don't want people talking about the big welcoming party they once organized for me. I want them talking about the big welcoming they have to organize for a new local boy. That's why I want commitment from the local authorities, in front of all this people, they they will do everything they can to support cycling and sports" (BBC, 8/15).
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