Artículos en Inglés
Jorge Aguilar – Motorcyclist
Translated by: Alejandro Lampell
What has been your journey within motorcycling?
My brother Daniel Aguilar and I have always been multifaceted athletes, we practiced different branches of the sport within the federation. We used to practice cycling. Back in 1988 we joined the motorcycles in enduro mode. Then in 1989 we wanted to learn motocross. Much to our surprise we began to win the first races. Competing helped us grow. We had the opportunity to compete in Mexico that first year, and we won at the international novice level, against different Central American countries and Mexico.
What is your job? How do you have time to practice motocross? Can you have a career and be a competitive athlete at the same time?
Well my time is rather limited, but this depends on the effort I put in. I want to say that I came to work at eight in the morning. I used to sleep a lot, but I had to modify my lifestyle. When people say there is no time to exercise, I think this is the pretext used to argue something that is not arguable. I started the day by going out cycling at 4:45 a.m; when the sun was not out, of course. We went with a group of cyclists and we all carried lamps. I was finishing my session around 7:30, depending on how many miles we pedaled. At that time I took a shower and changed to get to my office.
How does the opportunity come to participate in the Dakar Rally? Was it something you had already proposed to yourself?
Well, we previously had the opportunity to participate in motocross world cups, in enduro world cups and I have always thought that in life the size of the challenges you set out for yourselves is directly related to how much you’ll grow as a person. And well, this was no exception. Everyone asked me why I was doing this and that I would kill myself. In short, everything that the Dakar Rally entails. However my brain understands these comments very differently. It become a double challenge for me; first off because I love sports with lots of adrenaline, where the threshold between life and death will always keep you in that threshold. And of course the Dakar Rally was no exception. Besides I think that all Salvadorans live a type of Dakar Rally in our day to day life.
In the fourth stage of the Rally, the Frenchman Pascal Terry died, you were the first to find him, how did this all happen? Was this your most difficult moment in the Rally? Did you think about leaving the competition at some point?
During that stage we were leaving at five o’clock in the morning, then going up the Andes Mountains, by the way we had mountains covered with snow all around us. My hands and feet were burning from the biting cold. We had just put gas, as we were still 20 kilometers from the Argentinian border. But we had just traveled around 200 kilometers. We had just finished refueling when the Frenchman passed me . In that area we were driving calmly since you couldn’t exceed the 115 km speed limit since they track your speed by satellite and can penalize you. When I saw a vehicle from the Chilean police cross my path, truth be told, I still didn’t question what was going on and suddenly I see the crashed motorcycle and it exploded, of course I was completely shocked at first. Smoke was still coming out, but I didn’t see the driver. I thought maybe the driver is still alive or something. When I stopped and got off the bike, I saw that the policemen are in shock. They couldn’t find anything to do. When I saw the driver lying about 50 or 75 meters away from the impact zone, I realized what was going on and went to help him.
Was he dead when you found him?
Since I first saw him, I realized he was virtually dead because of his position and the color of his body. I ran to his motorcycle to see if we could use the satellite emergency panel that the organization gives us. But his emergency panel was destroyed. I went to my panel, I speak with the organization and I request the presence of both the medical care unit and all the organizers who know how to deal with the proceedings for this situation. At the time I wished for their quick arrival and I continued with the race. Obviously, this was a tragic event that affected us negatively at that time. We then arrived at a special place after the Argentinian border. Once there we reached the high temperatures, I was still a bit shocked, we are not accustomed to see death and especially not one of a driver who is doing the same thing as we were. I was thinking that it happened to him, but it just as easily could have happened to anybody. All those images come to you and, well, it was exhausting. This event did indeed affect me that day
But then you get back to the rhythm of the competition, since we are back doing the same things, death is part of life and we had to keep looking for the objectives we set for ourselves as those were the ones that drove us to take a part of this competition.
How much support did Koky Aguilar have from his sponsors? Is there support for events like these in El Salvador?
These days, I can say that there is almost one hundred percent support for these events. When we started working on this project, since many people did not know what the Dakar Rally was, unfortunately, we had to work as marketing specialists to gain the support of companies. Because if somebody brings a draft for a project and they are talking about the best in the world, I do not know what else you can say to captivate them. And even more so when they say that they have about 260 television channels covering and fan bases constantly viewing that brand. Unfortunately this is the reality of our country like many countries. There were companies that did not hesitate and contributed, not entirely, but they did not hesitate to support the project and believe in it. The biggest thing for me is that it was a unique exhibition, on a national level as much as on an international one. This type of coverage is rarely seen in our country, and we are back to the same topic, as this was the first time in history that a Salvadoran participated.
In recent years, football hasn’t given our country very good results. In contrast, surfing, and now motocross, have done so. Despite this, people still get more excited by the “king’s game” than by other sports. How do you begin to generate more awareness to these sports to make them more popular and have more support?
I think it has become evident that we are not a soccer country and I say this correctly, because if we were footballers then we would not have the problems we have always had. Unfortunately football is the only sport that has various resources in our country. Other sports are practically forgotten in our country, but we won’t forget about Jiménez, world champion in archery. Here we have very good athletes, very good athletes. Also we can speak of Evelyn Garcia, an icon in cycling, both nationally and internationally .
Unfortunately, we return to the same problem, football has the same problems as the politics of El Salvador: too many interests which are particularly far removed from the reality that our sports seek. Support, improvisation, always generating that kind of lightning processes; thinking we are always basic, we always improvise.
Fox Sports Journalists nicknamed you “The Politician,” where does this nickname come from? Would you be interested in becoming involved in politics at some point in your life?
Since the first interview, the presenter of this network gave me that nickname. First it was because of my joy and the form in which I addressed my country. We are all clear that all politicians, for the sake of being able to get results, because here we have to be realistic, this is politics, all politicians talk about what they will do, but they do not speak about what they already did. So in this aspect I might have looked like a politician for the pasision that I used when sending greetings to every Salvadoran. So, I was nicknamed “politician” to which I did a reference where I said, “I hope I am one of the good ones.” But the truth about politics is that we should leave the politics to the politicians. To me the only colors that I am passionate about are blue and white, through sports, through my business, and if somehow I am able to help my country out, then this will be my way.
What was the best moment of the Rally? Why?
Actually, there were many. Remember that the Rally is truly like the summary of a life. And to speak about the Rally is like being asked what has been the best time of your life, and there are several. It’s a unique experience, it changes your perspective on life as you live through hardships in which you ask yourself why you are there when you should be at home maybe with a cup of chocolate milk. When we were in cold weather this was the only thing that was going through my mind. So the most important thing was that: I didn’t fail my country, and that filled me with joy, filled me with peace, because we are a country that rarely has good news. And if I didn’t finish the Rally then I would be just another negative news for this country. I wasn’t really going to leave a mark as I would just be another piece of bad news. But beyond that, I mean to tell you that we were fully prepared . We came from a year where we prepared our consciousness physically, with lots of discipline and that is what had given us the skill and mental toughness to withstand this event and, of course , not fail.
Do you feel in any way similar to a player from the Salvadoran soccer team? Where you come from an unknown country, and you get to compete shoulder to shoulder against the best in the world, and put up a good fight.
Definitely, I want to express, as I have always said, they are an example of how to lead your life. I think we have to learn from them. I believe they were able to stay humble when everyone knows that the path to those world cups is very hard.
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
To go in order, in five years I see myself in charge of a couple foundations, giving them help, as I also want to tell you that through my recycling companies, which are leaders in Central America, we support recycling programs that raise money for colleges and schools. Of course we also collaborate with needy people. And that’s where I see that my true passion is, in helping people who have certain limitations.
A Quick Glance:
Koky Aguilar: a Salvadoran
Motocross: my passion
Dakar 2013: my greatest aspiration
Extreme sports: two wheels
El Salvador: the greatest