Carlos Vieira, the cycling firefighter, has died (update) – Leiria region

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Carlos Vieira, the three-time world record holder Leiria firefighter, died today, December 15, the family confirmed.

Carlos Vieira, 68, had been hospitalized for five days at Santo André Hospital in Leiria after suddenly feeling tired. The situation was revealed by himself on Facebook on the 12th in a post in which he implied he was positive for covid-19 and asked for the strength to “win this terrible marathon”.

According to a family member, the cyclist and firefighter was weakened by a clinical condition that had forced him to several interventions recently, having not resisted the contagion to covid-19.

Américo Vieira, cyclist and teammate of Carlos Vieira at Leiria Cycling Union, was shaken by the news:

“I am speechless and without strength. It’s losing a big brother. We have always been together, a whole life, ”said Américo Vieira.

In a note published today, the municipality of Leiria “deeply regrets” the death of Carlos Vieira and recalls the acts of the cyclist, who “has entered his name several times in the Guinness Book, always for acts linked to the resistance by bike”.

Born in Leiria, Carlos Vieira was a firefighter for about 30 years in the Leiria Municipal Fire Department, a company he joined in 1978, and it is a cause he has always championed with great fervor.

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Cycling was another passion that accompanied him throughout his life, having represented clubs such as FC de Alverca, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Flores do Lis, GD Cela, Bairro dos Anjos, Núcleo Sportinguista de Leiria , Casa do Benfica de Leiria and Union cycliste de Leiria.

Winner of dozens of races, Carlos Vieira made a name for himself in 1983 by becoming the holder of the world resistance record, after pedaling 191 hours without stopping.

He made the link between Fatima and the Vatican by bike several times, after being received in 1986 by John Paul II, in 2014 by Pope Francis, and in 2017 again by Pope Francis.

He also made the link with several towns twinned with the Municipality of Leiria, such as Olivença, Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Quint-Fonsegrives and Rheine, by bike.

Quoted by the municipality, the mayor of Leiria hailed Carlos Vieira as “exemplary citizen” and “great ambassador of Leiria”.

“Whether as a firefighter or as a great champion, he projected the image of Leiria around the world like few others. Wherever he went, Carlos Vieira always spoke with great pride about his city, Leiria, ”says Gonçalo Lopes.

“Our municipality has become impoverished with the departure of a beloved member of its community,” adds the mayor.

Carlos Vieira’s funeral will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, December 16, with a mass on the ground starting at 2:30 p.m. at the Leiria cemetery.

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