An exciting and sober launch ceremony was held in the capital of the country. It was the opening of Tolima’s most important event in history, the Inline Speed Skating World Championships, Ibagué Tolima 2021.

The ceremony was led by the competition authorities; Colombia’s Federation president, José Acevedo; event director from the sports ministry, Luis Carlos Buitrago; and Colombia’s Olympic committee chairman and World Championships general director, Alberto Herrera Ayala.

Also, as main participants were the authorities and those who have supported the development of the World Championship in “mainland”, Tolima’s governor, José Ricardo Orozco Valero; Ibague’s mayor, Andrés Fabián Hurtado Barrera, Tolima’s Indeportes manager Alexander Castro Salcedo and IMDRI director, Alejandro Ortíz Ortíz.

In their speeches, Ibague’s mayor and Tolima’s governor were emphatic about the social, economic, and sports benefits that will result from an event of this magnitude, by gathering an important number of visitors who will pull the economic reactivation of the region.

The Inline Speed Skating World Championships Ibague – Tolima 2021 provide an opportunity for the Sports Ministry and the Colombian Olympic Committee to continue growing in sports while also positioning Colombia as a country for big challenges and ideal organizations in the future, along with positive sports results.

The Federation’s president, José Acevedo, thanked the support given by the official entities from Ibague and Tolima, as well as their great interest in being part of a team that works for the objective of accomplishing the best World Championship in history. “All of the conditions are set for our country, and especially Tolima’s land, to show the world its qualities and how it welcomes its visitors as its own.”

For the general manager of the World Championships, Alberto Herrera Ayala, this is more than a championship. “What starts well ends well. This launch fills us with illusions and compromises us to give our best to represent our country with the skate world watching, “said Herrera Ayala.

As special guests at the event were World Skate chairman, Jorge Roldán Pérez, and the president of the world entity, Sabatino Aracu, who participated remotely through digital platforms from his house in Italy, showing great enthusiasm and joy for the championship on Colombian land.

According to Aracu, Colombia has all the conditions to host a great event. “I can’t be present with you this day, but I accompany you from my heart, and I’m fully convinced that given the world’s current circumstances, Colombia is the proper country to reactivate our most important event. I have complete faith in my great friends, José (Acevedo) and Alberto (Herrera), who have shown me their outstanding work over the years. We are in good hands and we will see each other soon in Ibague”. remarked the Italian director

Some key points were shown during the event, like the presentation of the work team, the roles of those who have the hard task of organizing and setting up everything, and the images that conform to the identity package of the World Championships Ibague – Tolima, 2021.

The medals, the most coveted item for the athletes who will compete to take them home, were presented to the public, unique pieces designed exclusively for the competition. They show the ancestral culture of those who forged the growth of Tolima and the roots of Colombian sports. A true collector’s piece.

Colombian skater Gabriela Isabel Rueda, who was chosen by the World Championships organization as the official image, added a feminine touch to the event. Her accomplishments, such as the gold medal in the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics, besides her multiple world championships alongside her young age and projection, tipped the scales in favor of “La Gaviota” being elected.

The culminating moment was the official presentation and entry of “Pijao”, the spectacled bear who is the mascot of the event. It shows the majesty of our land’s flora, which puts us before the rest of the planet as one of the richest biodiversity countries in the world. Besides, “Pijao” sends a message about nature conservation.

The gala was closed with music in charge of the band of the school of artistic culture training  “Efac”, which interpreted pieces danced by “Juventud Folclórica”, a dancing school born in 2001 in Ibague’s commune 12. All of this musical and folkloric display was accompanied by the beauty of Municipal Folklor Queen Valery Martínez.

The final set was in charge of the duet “Entre Cantos”, formed by sisters Paula and Aura García, alongside Jesús Morales Longas, director of the musical project.

The finishing touch couldn’t be different from the degustation of a lechona, a traditional Tolima’s dish, one of the world’s great gastronomic complements to the traditionality and culture of the region.

The Ibague – Tolima 2021 Inline Speed Skating World Championships are rolling …