Special report: 2008 Olympic Games
QUITO, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian speed walker Jefferson Perez is training alone at his native city of Cuenca (south) because he aims to win a gold medal for his South American country at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Jefferson Perez, considered Ecuador's greatest athlete, stated on Tuesday in declarations quoted by the local press that world ranking is not important in an Olympic year.
"I want to get ready for Beijing Olympic Games," stated Perez, while adding that this is probably his last participation in these type of competitions.
The Beijing Olympics will be Perez's fourth Olympic Games participation. In Atlanta 1996, Perez won the gold medal in the 20 kilometers walk.
Perez, 33, will celebrate his 34th birth date on July 1st and said he will retire. "I will retire whenever I do not like getting up at 7 a.m. in the morning on weekends to climb at 4,000 meters above sea level, at zero degrees in adverse conditions."
Perez has finished 5th place in his past two competitions in Mexico and Portugal, and he believes they have served him to get ready for the Beijing Olympic Games even though they have not been outstanding results.