The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life upside down for the 35-year-old London Olympics foil gold medallist. Olympic champion fencer Ruben Limardo, who hails from Venezuela cycles around his adopted hometown Lodz in Poland, to make food deliveries. Last week, Limardo took to Twitter to reveal to his fans about the new job. “You have to earn your way and this is a job like any other,” he told AFP. He travels 50 kilometres per day on his bike, making around 100 euros a week.

Similar to Limardo, 20 other members of Venezuela’s national fencing team are also doing the same job to make ends meet. “We are all delivery riders,” said Limardo.

Limardo is the first fencer from Latin America to win an Olympic title since Cuba’s Ramon Fonst in 1904. He is also the second  Venezuelan gold medallist after boxer Francisco Rodriguez. He moved to Poland 19 years ago and went on to establish a foundation for Venezuelan fencers along with a fencing school for children.

“We get very little money from Venezuela because of the crisis there. And the pandemic has turned everything around. There are no competitions, the Tokyo Olympics were delayed for a year and the sponsors are saying they will start paying again in the new year. That’s why we have to make money on the road,” said Limardo.

“Every time I make a delivery I tell myself that it will help me win the medal I want at Tokyo in 2021” he adds.