Olympic fencing champ makes ends meet by delivering food for Uber Eats

The 35-year-old Venezuelan who won gold at the 2012 Olympics is now delivering food in his adopted city who of Łódź as training for the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until next year because of the pandemic. rubenlimardo/Instagram/PAP

A Venezuelan fencing champion who has been living in Poland for almost 20 years has turned to delivering food while training for the Tokyo Olympics.

With restaurants in Poland only open for takeout at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are ordering meals using delivery apps. 

Ruben has been living with his wife and their two children for the last 20 years.Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

Ruben Limardo Gascon’s story shows that you never know who might be delivering your meal behind their mask – it could even be an Olympic champion.

Limardo was born in Bolivar City in Venezuela in 1985, but has been living in Poland for 19 years. He came to Poland as a teenager, encouraged by his uncle Ruperto, who had studied in Hungary during the 1980s and picked up a love for fencing. He studied physical education at the University of Computer Sciences and Skills in the city of Łódź, in central Poland.

Over the past decade, Limardo has had an impressive sporting career, which includes a gold medal in the individual epée event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. JONATHAN BRADY/PAP/EPA

Over the past decade, Limardo has had an impressive sporting career, which includes a gold medal in the individual epée event at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. 

Now 35, he still lives in Łódź, with his wife and two children – a girl and a boy, who was born this year.

While training for the Tokyo Olympics, Limardo has been supporting his family by delivering food in Łódź for the Uber Eats app.

While training for the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until next year because of the pandemic, Limardo has been supporting his family by delivering food in Łódź for the Uber Eats app.rubenlimardo/Instagram

He told the Associated Press: "There is no sponsorship now because there is no competition, but I still have to generate some resources to support my family.”

He recently shared his story on his Instagram profile, where he usually posts sports-related photos of himself.

“If you are in Lodz - Poland and you order @ubereats, your food may be delivered by a champion who decided never to give up,” he wrote in Spanish by a photo of himself on a bike wearing a mask and a green Uber Eats delivery backpack published this month.

Posting a photo of himself on social media, sitting on a bike, wearing a mask and a green Uber Eats delivery backpack he wrote: “If you are in Lodz - Poland and you order @ubereats, your food may be delivered by a champion who decided never to give up.”rubenlimardo/Instagram

Limardo highlighted that, although he has not missed a day of training, he has a second job now to support himself and his family.

“I, the latest Olympic gold medal of Venezuela, also go out to work every day to go hand in hand for the dreams that I still have to fulfill,” he added.

The post has received over 19,000 “likes” and many positive comments, with people calling Limardo a “fighter” and an “example”.