Barrondo: From Olympic Medalist to Guatemalan Knight

It’s a knight’s tale for Erick Barrondo following his medal-winning performance at the 2012 Olympic Games

The 21-year-old Guatemalan racewalker—who finished second in the men’s 20km race walk at the London Games—will become a Knight of the Order of the Sovereign Congress.

Erick Barrondo

Guatemalan lawmakers unanimously approved the decoration for Barrondo for giving his country its first-ever Olympic medal.

In addition, the 116 members present at the session voted to award Barrondo $64,000 for stellar performance.

“If in England there is a Sir Alex Ferguson (manager of top soccer club Manchester United), why in Guatemala can’t there be a Knight Erick Barrondo,” said legislator Haroldo Quej as he explained why he voted in favor of the honor.

Erick Barrondo

President Otto Perez Molina met Tuesday with Dora and Bernardo Barrondo, parents of the athlete, who’ll compete next Saturday in the 50km walk, to coordinate the details of the trip to London that the government will provide then so they can cheer on their son.

“They are being given the trip to accompany Erick and give him the warmth and support he needs for the race,” a spokesperson for the president’s office told Efe.

“He’s going to be welcomed as a hero, as he deserves. We’re going to be waiting for him with open arms,” Perez Molina said after Barrondo’s medal-winning performance in the 20km event.