The Law Offices of Manuel Rivera, Esq. & Associates, P.C.
Immigration, Removal/Deportation Defense, Perm, Visas
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Testimonial from Venezuela
This is another of our success stories The Law Office of Manuel Rivera, Esq. & Associates P.C. was able to represent World Swimmer Master Champion Rafael Gamez in his immigration case. The Law Office of Manuel Rivera, Esq. & Associates P.C. was able to convince the Immigration Service that World Swimmer Master Champion Rafael Gamez was a person of Extraordinary Abilities, deserving to reside in the U.S. permanently and to continue with his swimming successful career in the U.S. and capable also to represent Venezuela in International Swimming Competitions.
Rafael Gamez, born in Caracas, Venezuela, holds a Bachelors degree in Naval Engineering from Instituto Universitario Politecnico de las Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales in Venezuela and a Master in Business Administration from The University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. He holds professional certification from ASCA (American Swimming Coach Association) as well as the Water Safety Instructor certification from the American Red Cross. He is member of USMS (United States Master Swimming). He speaks English, Spanish and some Portuguese.
He began his swimming career at the young age of four. Since then he started developing his passion for swimming. He competed at local, state and national championship since he was 7 years old; in 1989, he began representing his country at internationals level in various meets in Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic.
In 1999 he started competing at a Master Level. From there his swimming technique has continue to evolve and in that year, he represented his country at the V Latin-American and the Caribbean Master Swimming Championship in Florida, USA where he won 3 bronze medals.
In 2000, he won the award of best swimmer of the year in his category in Venezuela and participated at the VIII FINA World Master Swimming Championships in Munich, Germany, were he ranked in the top 12 in the world in his category.
In 2001, He participated at the VI Latin-American and the Caribbean Master Swimming Championship in San Jose Costa Rica. Where he won the amazing number of 9 gold medals.
In 2002 at age 30, he participated at the IX FINA World Master Swimming Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand were he earned the title of World Master Swimming Champion winning 3 gold, 2 Silver, and 1 bronze medals in his category. He also set a new national record in the 100-meter butterfly event. For these excellent results, the Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Sports and President of the National Sports Institute recognized him in a special event.
In 2003, while pursuing his MBA studies in The United States, he joined one of the best master swimming team in the country, Dallas Aquatic Master, where he was couched by the 3 times Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Montgomery.
In 2004, He participated at the X FINA World Master Swimming Championships in Riccione, Italy were he positioned himself among the top ten swimmers in the world.
In the following years, he continue competing at a national level and in 2007 he participated at the South American Master Swimming Championship in Venezuela were he won 2 gold and 1 bronze medals and broke one national record in the 4 x 50 meter mixed freestyle relay which was the fifth- best mark in the world for 2007 according to the FINA World Master Top Ten Rankings.
In 2008, He participated in the XII FINA World Master Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia. were he placed in the top 10 in the world and broke another national record.
In 2009, He was recognized as the country's Best Master Swimmer in his category. Through his Master Swimming career, he has won 53 gold, 20 silver and 14 bronze medals at a National Championships in Venezuela and holds four national records.
In 2010, he decided to leave Venezuela and came to The United States where he joined the recognized swimming team Curl-Burke in Washington, DC. He continued competing in the USA at a regional meet for the Colonies Zones which include 15 North-Eastern states and at the Dixie Zones meet which include 6 South-Eastern states. At these meets he won five gold, one silver and three bronze medals. He ranked himself among the top 10 masters swimmers in the country in two events according the USMS.
In 2011, due to his impressive and recognized long swimming career, he was granted his Permanent Residency through the Extraordinary Abilities immigration program from the United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Besides swimming, Rafael has a successful professional career, where he had held managerial positions in sales and marketing in Latin-America, for Johnson & Johnson Medical. He also has been teaching kids how to swim and has been couching swimmers and triathletes in how to improve their technique and swimming performance for the last ten years.
The Law Offices of Manuel Rivera, Esq. & Associates, P.C., serves clients throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area, as well as Virginia and Maryland, as well as throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. We serve clients in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, Annandale, Springfield, Herndon, Reston, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, College Park, Germantown, Frederick, Hyattsville, Bowie, Annapolis and other communities in Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George's County.