One-eyed bullfighter stages triumphant return to ring

2012-03-05 11:26

Madrid – Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla is hailed as a hero following his return to the bullring five months after a bull gored him in the face, costing him an eye.

Padilla, who now wears a black patch over his left eye, was carried from the bullring on the shoulders of cheering fans after killing two bulls in Olivenza in the south-west yesterday.

He performed “as well or better” than before, bullfighter Miguel Abellan wrote in the daily El Mundo, describing Padilla as a “living legend”.

In October, Padilla experienced one of the worst gorings in the recent history of Spanish bullfighting, in the northern city of Zaragoza.

Doctors who struggled to save his life were present to witness his triumphant return to the bullring.

The daily La Razon described Padilla’s return as a “wonder” while El Pais said his courage turned him into a “hero”.

“The worst fear is the fear of being afraid,” bullfighting critic Javier Villan wrote. “Life is a fight to the finish, with no other banner than self-esteem and the pride to be alive,” he said.

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