Venezuela’s athletes lack funds to train for Olympic

Global Business

Venezuela's athletes lack funds to train for Olympic

Elias Malave is one of the world’s best archers, having nearly made it to the top eight in the last Olympics. He’s also going to the Rio games next month.

But his chances for winning gold this year are shrinking, just like his country’s economy.

Venezuela is in the midst of a brutal recession, due to plummeting oil prices, which squeezed funding for elite athletes.

CCTV America’s Ahmad Coo reports.

Venezuela\'s athletes lack funds to train for Olympic

Venezuela\'s athletes lack funds to train for Olympic

Elias Malave is one of the world’s best archers, having nearly made it to the top eight in the last Olympics. He’s also going to the Rio games next month. But his chances for winning gold this year are shrinking, just like his country’s economy. Venezuela is in the midst of a brutal recession, due to plummeting oil prices, which squeezed funding for elite athletes.

“Even with all my experience, I can’t remain by myself for long. At times, to stop seeing my coach for a month, would be fine,” said Elias Malave. “Nothing will happen but seven months is too long. I don’t think any top athlete spends seven months without seeing their coach.”

Recently President Nicolas Maduro heaped praise and awards on Yulimar Rojas for winning the gold for the triple jump during the World Indoor Championships in Portland last March.

“The investments we make for you to be trained in the best schools in the world, with the best coaches in the world, to keep up the diversified pace of Venezuelan sports,” said Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro.

Despite Maduro’s investment claims, some of the country’s sporting bodies claim they haven’t seen any of it.

The country’s football federation said they haven’t received any funds from its main sponsor this year. In fact they didn’t get anything from the government in 2015.

Even Formula One Pastor Maldonado has been caught up in his country’s cash crunch.

In 2012 he won the Formula One thanks to the millions of dollars provided by Venezuela’s state-run oil company. But that well has all but dried up for him, leading to Maldonado being dropped by the Renault-owned team.

Still the country’s Olympic hopefuls are trying to stay positive. In the meantime, Elias said he’ll continue training for the Olympics with or without the government’s support.