Less than a week after a highly embarrassing incontinence incident while on election campaign, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday fell off a bicycle he had been given at a public meeting.
The minor cycling incident happened at a televised event in the municipality of San Jose de Apartado in the northeast of Colombia.
Locals had given the president his bicycle which he subsequently mounted and kept steady for a few meters while supporters shouted “You can do it!”
Nevertheless, Santos, 62, almost immediately lost control of the vehicle and fell. Bodyguards then helped Santos — apparently unharmed — back on his feet.
In a speech that followed the incident, the president joked about the bicycle accident, saying it could be seen as a metaphor for victims of Colombia’s ongoing armed conflict.
“When I was trying to demonstrate my abilities as a cyclist and fell, [an assistant] said something very important: ‘In life, one falls and must stand up to keep moving forward’. This is what the victims of the country are also doing.”
The cycling accident is the Santos’ second embarrassing incident since kicking off his re-election campaign for the May 25 election in a week; on Monday, the president suffered an incontinence problem and incidentally wet himself while speaking before thousands in the city of Barranquilla.
Santos later clarified that the incident, which had mostly been ignored by Colombia’s national media but went viral worldwide, had been due to a prostate cancer operation he had undergone last year.
The president is currently leading the race to the presidential election during which he hopes to secure staying in power until 2018.
- Santos sufre caída en bicicleta (Associated Press)
- Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en el Conversatorio Restitución de Tierras ‘Un Camino a la Reconciliación’ (President’s Office)