The first week of the Pan-Am games has been characterized by tears, both of sadness and joy.
Those of joy are the more intriguing, as they are the maximum expression of the effort required for the task accomplished. The first came on behalf of Maria Luisa Calle, who cried tears of joy upon winning a gold medal in the individual 20-kilometer time trial.
One of the most curious, and controversial, tears came from Leonardo De Deus who had the uncomfortable transition from joy, to sadness, to joy, as his medal was revoked and reinstated.
It all began with him winning gold in the 200-meter butterfly, a medal he almost lost due to a childish error. After being authorized to compete, the official of the event decided that De Deus' swimming cap did not meet the requirements regarding sponsors and he was disqualified, with the gold medal going to David Madwed of the United States, who had finished second.
After a heated discussion, the judges and Brazilian delegates, which included many shouts, the medal was returned to De Deus, who shed tears of joy and relief after recovering his medal.
Other instances of tears of joy included the Colombian tennis player Robert Farah, who won gold for the first time in the country's history, or the joy of the Cubans, upon getting a historic 0-0 tie against the powerhouse Brazil in men's soccer, an unprecedented result for the Cuban team.
Something similar happened with the Argentinean women's basketball team when they defeated the United States, the defending gold medalists. Argentinean swimmer Cecilia Biagoli also added tears of her own after winning the 10-kilometer open water swim.
To sum up, tears have become another protagonist of the Pan-Am celebrations, giving it a sensible and human touch to a grueling competition.
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