Danilo Carrera Drouet became known in the national tennis environment in June 1967, when he was appointed captain of the Ecuadorian team that was responsible for playing the final of the Davis Cup American Zone at the legendary Pancho Segura stadium, of the Guayaquil Tennis Club, nothing less than against the world power United States, team that brought star figures. We Ecuadorians learned through international cables about the successes of Arthur Ashe, the famous doubles players Clark Graebner and Marty Riessen and the other singlist Cliff Richey – A powerful cast who came in as the big favorite.
It was known that our team would use both in singles as in doubles to the same players. I am referring to Miguel Olvera and Francisco Guzmán. It was such a surprise that Ecuador ended up knocking the giant down 3-2, with lucid performances from our tennis players.. That triumph is considered one of the most momentous events in Ecuadorian sport. In those days, the captaincy of Davis represented a task with various responsibilities, because, in addition to the direction on the field, he also had the obligation to take care of planning, accommodation, mobilization, practices and, above all, to be a great motivating. And Carrera did it, that’s why it is part of this brilliant page of our tennis.
That Davis Cup has an anecdote. The series began with the match between Guzmán and Richey on Saturday, June 17, 1967. The American won it in four sets. The packed stadium applauded the compatriot, who left the field with rebellious tears, because he was close to staying with the game. The fan was excited when Olvera stepped out alongside Ashe. The game Miguel played was fantastic. Although he lost the first set, he won the next two. The game was suspended due to lack of natural light and resumed at 10:00 on Sunday. Olvera, inspired, gave his opponent a real tennis lesson and in 20 minutes he won the set 6-2, and the match. The emotion was such that Captain Carrera, wanting to jump the net to hug Olvera, tripped and dislocated his left ankle. The doubles match was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on the same Sunday and Captain Carrera entered the court in a cast and carried by a club member and by the captain of the United States team, George McKall. The audience, watching what happened, applauded both Carrera’s effort and McKall’s gesture.
Danilo Carrera was born in Guayaquil on October 13, 1938. His father, Leopoldo Carrera Carbo, was largely responsible for Danilo accepting tennis as one of his greatest commitments in life. From a very young age, the teachers Homero Cano, Cedeño and the Argentine Lucilo del Castillo were in charge of confirming that irreversible pact on the field and off it with the white sport.
The career management course began as the sports commissioner of the Guayaquil Tennis Club. He had the opportunity to share the leadership with Blas Uscocovich, who presided over the National Tennis Commission of the National Sports Federation of Ecuador, a body that gave the Guayaquil Tennis Club the responsibility of organizing the first Davis Cup, which was played in the country in 1961 . Carrera became one of its most important coordinators. Then he was nominated secretary of the Ecuadorian Tennis Association for the period 1967-1969, under the presidency of Joaquín Orrantia González. At the end of that administration, Carrera was the president of the Ecuadorian Tennis Federation. He exercised these functions between 1969-1973, and in those years he was in charge of giving Ecuadorian tennis its institutional organization, in addition to adapting the statutes and beginning to hold national tournaments. In that position he was elected three more times, in 1993-1997, 2017-2021 and a few days ago, due to his management at the head of the FET, he was re-elected as president for the period 2021-2025. In addition, they appointed him their president for life. One of their most important achievements, achieved a year ago, was the return of the Ecuadorian team to the Davis Cup World Group, by defeating Japan in their own backyard.
Carrera has also been president of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, treasurer of the Pan American Sports Organization, vice president of the Bolivarian Sports Organization and member of the International Olympic Committee. In his long career he has received decorations from different Ecuadorian governments.
In his private life he is recognized as a successful businessman. He currently holds the presidency of the board of directors of Banco Guayaquil. In the public sector he was general manager of the Central Bank. He was also named Man of the Year by the magazine America Economy in 1997. And at the sporting level he received the Odepa Olympic collar.
Apart from these and other deserved recognitions, Carrera was brave and faced the abuses of government interventionism. He has been a born fighter against the politicization of sports institutions. In the book written by César Pólit Ycaza State and sport, close friends and enemies You can find an excerpt from his speech when he exclaimed: “Comrades, we continue in the fight. We are Olympic leaders. Let’s assert our rights without giving up. Soon there will be a new dawn ”.
Carrera has led a legal crusade to reform the current Sports Law, in order to eliminate, once and for all, those pernicious vices such as unconstitutionality that conspires against the independence and autonomy of sports organizations. It is a law that has been in force since 2010 and, obviously, has undermined the development of Ecuadorian sport. The crusade of Carrera and an important group of leaders also aims to recover the COAR, which in its time contributed significantly to high performance and which today is prostrated by the inefficiency of government interventionism.
Carrera’s legacy in the Olympic movement is impressive: the transformation of the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee, the infrastructure, the support for athletes … It has also fulfilled a fundamental task, which is the training of the new Ecuadorian leadership.Not a single injury prevented Danilo Carrera (c), a former Davis captain in 1967, from celebrating the tri-color feat.
This is a result system that insists on considering sporting successes exclusively the product of the incessant, self-sacrificing and exceptional capacity of one or more athletes, when obtaining cups, medals, recognitions, fame and, of course, glory, leaving aside the effort of the ruling class. With this criterion, it is not possible to speak of a truthful and testimonial story, but biased and unfair. That is why the question must always be taken into account: How can leadership influence in sporting successes be justified? A great argument that supports the answer has to do with the capacity of the leadership class. Jorge Valdano once made mention: “There is a type of credibility that is indisputable: that which gives knowledge, because those who know are respected.” There is a special chapter that recognizes that a great leader, to transcend, must reflect moral authority, because credibility must always be supported by an ethical perspective.
In an effort to just appreciate the extensive leadership career of Danilo Carrera, we are convinced that he not only applied Valdano’s ideas, but also showed great moral, charismatic and managerial leadership for the benefit of Ecuadorian sports. From this rostrum I recognize the leadership excellence of Carrera, an old fighter in Ecuadorian sport. (O)