Argentina’s Scioli, a sportsman and survivor... so far
BUENOS AIRES: Argentine presidential hopeful Daniel Scioli is a former powerboating champion, a sports fanatic, a skilled politician and above all a survivor-at least, he has been so far. The Buenos Aires governor survived a 1989 powerboat accident that cost him his right arm and years of internecine political clashes. But now he faces his toughest battle yet.
After spending most of this year’s presidential campaign as the frontrunner, Scioli is now the underdog as Argentina heads to the polls tomorrow for a run-off election pitting him against conservative rival Mauricio Macri. Scioli was left reeling by the first-round election on October 25, when his three-percentage-point victory over Macri-a far smaller margin than expected was perceived as a virtual defeat. With the momentum in his favor, Macri leaped to a lead in the polls. But Scioli has fought back with the same tenacity that has marked his career. Scioli, 58, got into politics 25 years ago, after a horrific accident cut short his career as a successful powerboat racer.
An eight-time world champion in the sport, he was racing across Argentina’s Parana River when his boat flipped over and a propeller shredded his arm, which had to be amputated. Starting over, he received a prosthetic limb, trained himself to function left-handed and launched a political career, winning election to Congress in 1997. He was named minister of sport and tourism in 2002. — AFP
BUENOS AIRES: Buenos Aires province governor and presidential candidate for the “Frente para la Victoria” (Front for Victory), Daniel Scioli speaks during the campaign closing rally in La Matanza, Buenos Aires province, on Thursday. — AFP