- Title: BOLIVIA: Tiny wrestler a big hit in Bolivia
- Date: 12th May 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHOQUE SAYING: "My dream was always to overcome my size and travel the world and fight with him. He'll be big. He'll be my body guard. He'll be my partner and protect me."
- Embargoed: 27th May 2010 13:00
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA2RWD6FMHFRSDP6VU799K3MR16
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Just under three feet tall (90 cm), Bolivian wrestler Cresencio Choque hasn't let his diminutive stature keep him from taking on towering opponents in the ring.
In the past few years, his fame as a Lucha Libre fighter has grown in Bolivia and overseas.
When donning a mask and tights, Choque is known as Criatura de Dios, God's Creature in English, and delights fans with fearless attacks, including flying leaps off the ropes.
At a recent bou in the town of Viachu, Choque's wife Isabel Ramallo, holding their infant son, cheered him on alongside other fans like Maria Dolores Quino.
"Size doesn't matter. Any type of person can take on any kind of activity, even in wrestling, and that's why I congratulate Crisci. He's my friend," Quino said.
When Choque began wrestling, people tried to discourage him, telling him his body wouldn't hold up to the rigors of the ring.
But eight years later, the 29-year-old is still wrestling and enjoying life with Ramallo and his infant son, Saul Benjamin.
Choque recalls that he was preparing for a match when his wife was rushed to the hospital from their home in the poor La Paz-suburb of El Alto.
He abandoned the coliseum and rushed to the hospital to welcome his son into the world, a full-sized baby who is already more then half the height of Choque.
Choque said he hoped his son would find a safer occupation, but that he was proud of his career.
"I feel proud to have represented Bolivia in eight different countries in the eight years that I have been fighting," he said.
But he added that Saul Benjamin could become a future partner.
"My dream was always to overcome my size and travel the world and fight with him. He'll be big. He'll be my body guard. He'll be my partner and protect me," he said.
Ramallo first saw Choque in the ring.
"I was always attracted to his agility in the ring, but also to his character, responsibility and way of being," she said.
Now Ramallo is one of Choque's most faithful fans, cheering her husband on as he takes on the competition.
Known for wearing masks that sometimes depict local politicians, Choque augments his popularity by sometimes teaming up with indigenous women to take on the more traditional fighters.
Little by little, he has gained fame in and around La Paz and has fought in neighboring countries and traveled as far afield as Mexico.
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