Luanda — The President of the Republic, João Lourenco, on Sunday expressed his "deepest condolences" to the family of cyclist Alberto da Silva "Pepino", who died Saturday in Benguela at the age of 95, due to illness.
A native of Benguela, the cyclist, whom João Lourenço considered as a "true icon of national and international sport," died Saturday at the General Hospital of Benguela, a victim of respiratory arrest.
"With deep consternation, I learned of the physical passing of the veteran cyclist Alberto da Silva, a carpenter by profession, whom his family, friends and admirers dubbed" Pepino "affectionately, wrote João Lourenço in his letter.
The President of the Republic also acknowledges that Alberto da Silva "Pepino" has earned the respect of all Angolans in life since, at an advanced age, he demonstrated the capacity to overcome and serve as an example for the new generations, engaging in competitions in which he devotedly and diligently put to the test and exceeded his own limits of resistance.
In this context, João Lourenço highlights the numerous national and international titles won throughout his career, especially his participation in 2009 at the Olympic Games of the Third Age in San Francisco, USA, where he returned four years later, is world champion in its category.
After emphasizing that Pepino received, in life, countless medals in recognition of his achievements in favor of cycling, the President of the Republic expressed the desire that his legacy of humility, willpower, discipline, dedication to sport and love of the Motherland serve as an "example" for present and future generations.
In the view of the President of the Republic, these qualities of Pepino "are the best expression of the real qualities of the Angolan People".
Recently, the veteran pedaled 34 kilometers, in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 38 seconds, on the course Benguela-Talamajamba, in a celebration of the 57 years of the beginning of the Armed Struggle.
In 2015, at the age of 92, he pedaled 40 kilometers on the same route in 1 hour and 19 minutes, with the purpose of honoring the heroes of February 4, 1961.
After taking part in the 2009 Olympic Games in San Francisco, California, in the United States of America, he returned to that country in 2013, where he became world champion in his category, winning two gold medals.