Fast Colombian in Heerde: Steven Villegas
This weekend were the trials for the Worlds in Colombia. This means that all the skaters from Colombia who were in Heerde did not even make it to those trials. One of them is Steven Villegas, with a time of 24.38 he won the 300 meter and in the 500 meter final he managed to beat everybody again. Also he’s the current junior world champion 500 meter. How come he’s not in Colombia right now?
Photo: Hidde Muije
“My competitors in the sprint distances are Pedro Causil, Andres Felipe Munoz and Edwin Estrada, I’m only first year senior so it’s really hard to beat them.” There are 6 or 7 nationals, in those races you can get points for the national team. If you have enough points you qualify for the trials for Worlds.” This shows that it’s really hard to make the national team in Colombia.
He’s now part of the Cado Motus Columbia team, together with Karin Bermudez and Daniela Mendoza, who are also first year seniors. They have been racing in Geisingen en Gross Gerau also the past month.
When did you start skating? “I started skating when I was 8 years old, because I liked the speed and it’s a popular sport in Colombia.”
How may hours a day do you train? “We usually train 5 to 6 hours a day, sometimes more. We bike, train with weights and skate.”
What do you think of Holland and the track in Heerde? “The track is good, it’s fast. Holland is very quiet, that’s nice.” Steven lives in Tulua, about an hour away from Cali (where the World Games 2013 were held) During the interview he’s sharing a bag of small Dutch ‘stroopwafels’ with Sebastian Sepulveda who’s helps out as a translator too.
Do you watch what you eat? “Normally at home I eat meat, rice and vegetables. Only during travels and tournaments it’s difficult to eat really healty. So I eat a lot of pizza then.”
Can you make a living as a Colombian skater? “Yes, we get some government money, but not too much.” He’s very happy with the money he gets for winning the sprint classification.
Steven will keep training and try to be back for Worlds next year.