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Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla, who was blinded in one eye by a goring in 2011, won the acclaim of the audience in Cali, Colombia, where he showed his bullfighting skills in the annual Feria de Cali.
Now, wearing an eye patch and speaking with a lisp, Padilla fulfilled what he describes as an unquenchable desire to once again face massive 1,100-pound (500-kilogram) fighting bulls with the aid of only a cape and sword.
The 39-year-old Padilla, the star attraction at the annual Feria de Cali festival, said he was returning to the ring because of a need "to win, to triumph, to be a better man".
In 2012 spring, just five months after surviving a horrifying goring, Juan José Padilla, one of Spain’s leading bullfighters was back in the game. Although he is still alive, he paid a big price: he cannot chew any food, even after a series of surgeries to reconstruct part of his face.
Since his hospitalization, Mr. Padilla said back in 2012, at his return, he had spent his time between medical visits training hard, adding that he had killed as many as 10 bulls on private farms in preparation for his return.
Still, fighting with an eye patch will be a challenge at this level of bullfighting, making it particularly dangerous for Mr. Padilla whenever the bull brushes past him on his blind left side.
Despite his injuries, Mr. Padilla, 39, said that he had been encouraged by his wife and two children, although he acknowledged that his comeback did create “some divisions” within his family.