By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Jane Usher is organizing a Gofundme fundraiser to help send Amado Cruz to the Tokyo Olympics next month.
33-year-old Amado Cruz is Belize’s first ever canoe athlete to participate in an Olympics Games.
According to the International Canoe Federation, the International Olympic Committee’s tripartite commission decided to give Cruz one of its two tripartite quotas for canoe sprint athletes.
Cruz, who is from Esperanza, Cayo, will compete in the men’s K1 200m and K1 1000m kayak events.
Cruz placed 12th in both events at the 2019 Pan American Games.
Usher’s Gofundme effort has already raised $3,350 of its $5,000 goal.
Apart from La Ruta Maya Canoe Race, which he has won a number of times, Cruz has also participated in international kayak competitions including the Puerto Rico Olympic Cup in 2015, the Pan American Championships in 2018, the Pan American Games in 2019 and the 2019 World Championships in Hungary.
“The road to the Olympics is long and arduous for all athletes. For Belizean athletes, there is the additional financial pressure due to the absence of sponsorships that athletes from other countries have access to,” said Usher in the amados-road-to-tokyo-2021 Gofundme page.
“In addition, since the sport is new to Belize, Amado has faced the additional strains of not having a coach or the right size boat for his height. Couple that with a global pandemic and the inability to host normal fundraising events and the financial strain is especially felt.
“Amado needs your help to make his Olympic dream a reality. He needs your help to put Belize’s name on the map in Canoeing,” said Usher.
She added that the money raised will help in paying for training, travel, and other miscellaneous expenses.