Ar­gentina’s Sci­oli, a sports­man and sur­vivor... so far

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

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