Cristian Toro: «The government of goodism has allowed racism against Vinicius»


the canoeist Cristian Toro He has gone into politics and next weekend, in the municipal elections, he will dream of being a councilor in the City of Madrid. After achieving the Olympic gold in Rio 2016now appears as number six in the lists of VOX to the Madrid City Council. Champion of Europe and runner-up in the world in his modality, Cristian Toro caters to OK DAILY in the gym The Black Panther, a very special environment for him and that transmits values ​​that he makes his own. All a few days before the elections and with the scandal of racism against Vinicius swarming in the environment.

Question: How does an athlete make the leap into politics?

Answer: There are many people who ask me. Many friends tell me, you’re fine the way you are, so you get into that pool. In the end, as we have seen, there are always different ideas. Many times there are people who criticize it and so far what I have found the most are people who support me. My environment is doing well and I am very excited. I have decided to take the step because I think we are going in the wrong direction. I think society is dividing. I see more and more struggles between the sexes and between ideologies, which I thought had been eradicated. Above all, I think that many of the leaders we have right now are not thinking about the citizenry, the people of Madrid and the Spanish. And we are going in a direction that I hope will not be so expensive.

Q: What is more complicated? To be an athlete or to be a politician?

R: Until now I would tell you to be an athlete because it is what I have done all my life. I have worked very hard preparing the competitions. It is not only something extreme on a physical level, but also on a mental level. The subject of politics is something that I am doing thinking about the future. Since I have a son, I have changed my perspective a bit and I have taken the initiative in things that at first did not matter to me. Until now, politics has been something sweet and very beautiful. Because I have found a super prepared team, an exciting project and I think that if they give us the opportunity we can do it really well. I say it from the heart.

Q: A few days ago a phrase of yours went viral where you said that “we cannot give away nationalities.” What did she mean by that?

R: This is the big problem that we citizens are having. Many do not know the control that the Government has over certain media that sometimes set editorial lines that do not allow you to know the truth of many things. So the citizen lives with his back to reality. This is a sample of it. In an interview where I was asked about a specific athlete who has been nationalized to enter the national team, my answer is that we cannot go around giving away nationalities, I said it literally. And the issue is not granting nationalities to the people who come to our country. We are delighted with the people who come, knock on the door and follow the established procedure as everyone has done. And he obtains nationality as I have done with the nationality of origin, because my parents emigrated to Venezuela, I was born there and I had to request Spanish nationality. That’s not the problem. The problem is that it is taken to mean that I do not want people to be given nationalities. And everything is distorted. When what I really wanted to convey is that it is not fair for the people who come, spend all their savings, enter Spain, come to work, spend five years waiting for a nationality… and as an athlete, I am very happy, please give it overnight or in a month by letter of nature. When we could perfectly adapt the rules of the sport to allow foreigners to compete. And that this person, if he wants nationality, since that implies being able to vote, help and many other things, that he follow the procedure. I have colleagues who have had to take language tests or an exam for nationality. And sometimes I have seen athletes who are given nationality and do not speak Spanish. That is a problem.

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Q: Why are we in this gym?

R: I have a lot of connection with contact sports. In general I like to practice sports. As a child I played contact sports and I have always been left with the thorn of having a path through this sport. They fascinate me. They are sports that train people. I really like the philosophy in the gym and in the teams. I also have my son in a contact sport and I really like his day to day. In this gym the mix is ​​super heterogeneous. There are famous people who come here, people with very few resources, and yet we come together here and leave all that out. We get to work and help each other. That is given to you by contact sport, which is booming.

Q.- Are you transferring the values ​​that sport has taught you to politics?

R.- Of course. In the end, sport has taught me that there are no easy paths, nor short ones, nor shortcuts. Sport has taught me that everything is achieved through work and doing it honestly. Going out for everything every day. And I am applying this in politics. I intend to work to the maximum tomorrow, when they give me the opportunity, so that the sport reaches all the people of Madrid. Give them facilities with access to gyms, preparations, diets… May sport unite us before that division.

Q.- The controversy in Spain since last Sunday has been the racist insults that Vinicius received at Mestalla. What do you think about how far this situation has come with racism?

R.- I find it sad, whether inside or outside the sport. Racism, or issues like it, is something that we should have completely extinct in our society. And I think that as a country, as people outside are seeing us right now, it is a good time to give visibility to how we face this issue. And I think there should be a sanction or a treatment according to how serious this situation has been for the athlete to make citizens understand, or those few people who deal with racism in our society, that we are not going to tolerate that. . Everyone would agree on this. I think there are very few who still treat people with racism. But you have to have a strong hand, because we have to put an end to this now. We do not gain anything with racism or with situations like this. We are a society where we need each other because we all contribute something. Today we cannot look at someone’s color to measure the attitude in something they are doing.

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Q.- Almost everyone has already expressed their opinion on this issue, including politicians.

R.- The sad thing is that as a country we are doing. We should set an example and hit the table saying that we are not going to allow this in Spain. We are not going to allow the anthem to be whistled, we are not going to allow attacks against our colors, against the flag, against any extremist ideology, we are not going to allow racism, xenophobia, we are not going to allow any of that. But it is that we are in the Government of goodness. Everything is allowed. No problem. Freedom of expression, we all have rights, but no one has obligations. We have to have a strong hand and teach that this is not allowed in Spain. I do not understand why the minister has not already come out to say that this is not going to be allowed in Spain. And that the pertinent actions will be taken so that this ends today in sport. Find out who they were, penalize the club if these people enter the stadiums again and put an end to this now.

Q.- In Brazil it is said that Spain is a racist country after what happened with Vinicius. Do you think so?

R.- I don’t feel racism on a daily basis. But it is inevitable to see what Vinicius experienced last Sunday. Perhaps they see us like this, but if we stop this, we give an example and a name to our country. And here this can never happen again. We can never justify a violent or aggressive action, or that is out of respect between people, it is never justified. I tell my son. If you get pushed at school, you have to set an example and not push it back. Because we get nowhere as a society. And it is a problem that this government is making us. Perhaps unintentionally or wanting to, but he is facing us. Your enemy is that one, your enemy is the man or your enemy is the woman. And it is dividing us.

Q.- What do you think of the national anthem being whistled? Should something be done?

R.- Of course something must be done. I think it is whistled because it is allowed. All the crimes that are taking place lately, such as making a law on abuse, and that there is more and more abuse, is because the law is wrong. If with this you put a harsh regulation, and the one who is going to whistle the anthem knows that he should not do it because he abides by these consequences, surely it will end.

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Q.- You had this flag in your hands after the Olympic gold in Rio, for example. What does the Spanish flag mean to you?

R.- The flag, for all of us, should represent unity. It should represent who we are, what we get up for every day, for a better society… In the end, in Spain we can boast of many things. We love. We are tourists from our land. I love traveling around Spain, going to all the Autonomous Communities, eating the typical foods of each place, talking with people from the other side of Spain… I love my country. I don’t understand why we want to end this country in the formal way that some people want to do it.

Q.- What are your objectives as a politician if you become a councilor?

R.- Well, let’s see, first of all, put an end to the interventionism that is taking place on the part of the State. In other words, I think we have to let the people of Madrid do it, not intervene so much, put an end to so many restrictions, put an end to so many measures, that in the end what they do is place impediments so that we can carry on a normal day to day. In the sports part, which is what I would like to focus on. I believe that sport is the cure for many currents that exist today in youth. I believe that through sport we can cure many things that are happening right now in society and of course I am going to use sport as a bridge for all those people who right now have a frustration or have something that I think we will be able to alleviate. I promise facilities to the people of Madrid for any concern they may have. I believe that we have to listen to the people of Madrid, listen to their needs and find solutions to the problems that we encounter, because we have to grow together. In the end, I am not a politician, so if I find myself in a situation where I can make decisions, I would make the decisions that I would like to have been made for me. So I think this sums it up.

Q.- Do you think that you should also have a strong hand with the sanctions in the Negreira case?

R.- I am always in favor of giving examples. In other words, there are no shortcuts in sport. So, any shortcut that any athlete has taken, even with the issue of doping, too. In other words, we have to set an example and we have to make it clear that this is not the way to go. So, in the case of the club that has been immersed in the whole issue of arbitration and all that, I am in favor of the fact that there should be some kind of punishment so that other clubs learn and something like this does not happen again.

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