Daniel Dhers: “Santiago 2023 thrills me because it is America's party”

Daniel Dhers is without a doubt one of the most anticipated Venezuelan athletes at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. He is a gold medalist in BMX Freestyle at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and a silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

He describes himself as an adrenaline junkie and thinks that there are some aspects of his culture that make him a better athlete and competitor. But in order to get a Pan-American and an Olympic medal, he spent more than 15 years training with some of the greatest in the activity, perfected his technique and left many things behind, including his family.

Today we invite you to learn a little more about the history of this athlete who will be at the Santiago 2023 Pan American and Parapan American Games.

“I emigrated at the age of 16 together with my parents to Buenos Aires and after a couple of years, I applied for my visa as an athlete and that is when I decided to move to the United States”, stated Daniel Dhers, who currently lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina, a town located in Wake County with just over 36,000 inhabitants.

His love for freestyle emerged when he was younger. "I told my mom that I was going to go for a ride around the neighborhood, but the truth is that I rode a couple more kilometers," Daniel said with a laugh. “When I visited a skatepark for the first time, I remember telling my mom that it was what I always wanted to do. And it is what I have done since that day,” he added.

Daniel Dhers knows that he has a special connection with bikes. For example, he remembers those days of pouring rain in a tropical country and the times he got a flat tire and had to figure out how to get back home. “Today I remember those things as an adventure. Thanks to the bike I know a lot about Caracas (his city) and other parts of Venezuela. So yes, I have very good memories thanks to the bike,” he said.

Currently, he is preparing for the Olympics with competitions such as the BMX world championship, the ODESUR Games and even a possible visit to Chile at the end of the year. "It is not sure yet because I am adjusting the dates, but maybe yes, I will probably have to travel to Chile for an exhibition," he commented.

Regarding the evolution of BMX in America after the presentation at the Olympic Games, Daniel Dhers said that “today the sport has grown a lot in Latin America. In my time, we were two Latin riders competing in the USA. Today, I see representatives from all the countries of Latin America. Argentina, Brazil and Colombia have always been strongest. But today we see, for example, Costa Rica, which is a small island with one of the best freestyle exponents in the world. I never thought I would see that!” he explained.

Daniel knows what awaits him at the next Pan American and Parapan American Games and assures that he has high expectations for the competition and also for the reunion with his delegation and with the Venezuelan community residing in Chile.

“I know what awaits me at Santiago 2023, unlike when I went to Lima when I thought it was an event like any other and I was surprised that it was not, that there was a Pan American and Parapan American Village, with a great organization behind. I didn't know there was such a competition for the Region. So now with a little more experience, I know they're going to be very exciting, it's America's party.

The athletes know what to expect and that brings many emotions. Normally, I don't get so excited about the events, but with the Pan American Games it's different. I am looking forward to it because I know it is a very well organized event. I just hope it's not so cold in the rooms! Ha ha" he said.

“I expect to see a lot of people. I know that the number of Venezuelans who live in Chile is large and I do know that an event like this will allow me to share with them, and after the end of the event, go eat some arepas”, he concluded.

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