Spanish swimmer sacrifices race by honouring Barcelona victims with minute of silence

Spanish swimmer sacrifices race by honouring Barcelona victims with minute of silence
PHOTO: YouTube

Athletes everywhere tend to have different ways of prepping themselves before they start a match.

One Spanish swimmer decided to do something special before the World Masters Championship 2017 in Budapest recently.

Fernando Álvarez wanted to pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attack with a minute of silence before starting the 200-meter breaststroke race that he was competing in.

He proposed this to organisers, the swimming governing body (FINA), but they shot it down.

FINA apparently told him that they couldn't "miss a minute" during the event. Speaking to Spanish publication El Espanol, the member of Cadiz Swimming Club said he had sent an email to the president of the competition but received no response.

His request on the day of the competition also fell on deaf ears.

But that didn't stop 71-year-old Alvarez from sparing that whole minute from his own race - never mind if it meant drastically affecting his results.

He bravely chose to observe the minute of silence on his own when the race started. While others took off, he stood still on the starting block and pointed towards the ceiling.

Screengrab: YouTube

Alvarez added: "And so I stayed. I left a minute later. But I do not care, I was feeling it more than if I won all the gold in the world."

Netizens praised him for his selfless act and many left kind words on social media.

In a Facebook post, his swimming club said: "All his teammates, like his Club feel very proud of him, we want to congratulate him for being a great person!"

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

 

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