Two cyclists will run under the Swedish flag when this year's Giro d'italia, one of the cykelsäsongens three major treveckorslopp, start in the weekend. Both live in Jönköping, sweden.
one of them is Tobias Ludvigsson, Swedish lagslagscyklist in Groupama-BACK. The other is Awet Heaven in the Israel Cycling Academy, who is not a Swedish citizen, but has an eritrean and an american flag on her shirt.
"In three weeks you just need someone to talk with about him, so it will be nice," says Awet Heaven to have his Jönköpingskompis in the scrum.
it is the biggest in his career so far. He received the news of the finlandssvenske sportdirektören Kjell Carlström.
" I started talking to him in English: ”thank you so much”. I was very happy and I'm really looking forward to start and to do something good. I think it's going to be a big thing in life, a new story, a new book to open, " says Awet Heaven on the phone from Spain, where he trains.
Awet Heaven remained in Europe when he had represented Eritrea in the U23 class at bike world CHAMPIONSHIPS in Florence 2013. He lived for a period in hiding as a refugee in Sweden, but took up residence two years later.
live Now 27-year-old with his sister in Jönköping, and bikes with a Swedish license. The sister came with a boat over the Mediterranean sea, the riskier the way from Libya to Italy.
citizens and represent the national team, but have to wait.
" I was born in Eritrea, but I will compete for Sweden. My whole life is in Sweden, I pay taxes in Sweden, it's just that I travel a lot to competitions, " he says.
To get citizenship would facilitate a lot, because he is as eritrean citizens must obtain a visa to compete in certain countries, such as the united states.
" I'm a little sorry for it, for I have been a professional for three years, but no one has been interested to help me with it. Citizenship is the most important thing for me. The team wants to not have to stress over these things.
go in the offshoots and try to win a stage. He has free hands on some stages, " he says. It is primarily the last ten days, on the hilly stages, as he sees his chances. The first week is about to be hjälpryttare to the team's Italian spurtare Davide Cimolai.
Awet Heaven has earlier told DN about how he during two years as a refugee in Sweden have not had any bike, and could not train. From gathering together for a simple racing bike with the help of pantflaskor he has now taken to the sport's highest level.
He says he has great respect for the people that he see in Sweden and are looking for pantflaskor.
– You should not see them as they do not want to work or don't like to work. They have no reason to do it. I hope that someone will learn of what I have done, " he says.
Cashed in the bottles led to a professional contract as a cyclist