Javier Sánchez Sant Cugat

Sant Cugat

Updated Friday, February 23, 2024-23:57

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Axie Infinity is a video game similar to Pokemon.

The player has some dragons with powers, he must face other players and defeat them.

Every time he does it, he gets points and can then transform those points into a cryptocurrency, Ethereum.

This is how climber

Leslie Romero

made her living in Venezuela .

«She did everything, I even opened a home delivery bakery and cooked donuts, cookies and cakes.

But mining cryptocurrencies became fashionable and I got into Axie Infinity.

It was a solution.

In Venezuela I didn't have a scholarship, I had to pay for my preparation, I missed competitions because I couldn't travel... With cryptocurrencies I was able to get ahead," Romero remembers about her most difficult years.

In San Juan de los Morros, where he was born, near Caracas, it was difficult for him to have three meals a day, he barely saw his parents who worked day and night and season after season his dream: making a living from climbing eluded him.

In the end, in 2022, he left.

And now he is the best Spanish option for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in speed climbing.

Because she was born in Venezuela, yes, but with a Spanish passport under her arm.

«My father is from Malaga and grew up in Malaga.

When he was young he decided to go on vacation to Venezuela, he fell in love with the country and years later he decided to return to stay.

He met my mother and there he started my family.

Thanks to him I have always had dual nationality.

In 2019, with our savings, he was able to return to Spain and we later.

Now my parents live in Mutxamel, in Alicante, and although they are older [the father is 72 years old] they support themselves by caring for the elderly and cleaning houses," says Romero, who lives in the High Performance Center (CAR) of Sant Cugat.

Pedro SaladoAraba

A year and a half ago he received a scholarship from the Higher Sports Council (CSD) and since then he has dedicated himself to recovering a sports career that was at risk.

She was the cadet world champion in 2012 at the age of 14, she was competing in the absolute World Cup at the age of 19, but she stagnated when it was her turn to excel.

Without being able to travel to the World Cup, she was left without points for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, without sleep and almost without a race.

Then the move came.

How did it start to climb? Although I was born at seven months and spent three months in phototherapy, I was always hyperactive.

My parents always explain that she climbed the trees around my house to pick fruit.

At six years old they decided to take me to practice a sport, rhythmic gymnastics, and when we arrived at the sports center the club had changed headquarters.

There were no gymnasts, but they had set up a small climbing wall and since we were there, they let me try it out.

I loved.

Contrary to what happened in Spain until recently, in Venezuela the climbing school has always included speed as a modality to take into account and, for this reason, many specialists come from there.

In fact, the other Spanish candidate for the Paris 2024 Games,

Erik Noya

, was also born near Caracas.

The recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to separate speed from the other two specialties, bouldering and difficulty, has now transformed that bet into a success.

Pedro SaladoAraba

«Speed ​​is different from everything.

It is repeating the same route always.

Repeat, repeat and repeat.

You have to like it », Romero accepts that in September she became the first Spaniard able to go under seven seconds in the 15-meter climb of the speed climb.

She now has a few months left until Paris 2024. And she no longer needs to mine cryptocurrencies.