2016

Spanish Sports Heroes

Agencia EFE

Talent display in the Golden Age of Spanish Sports, a collection about young champions that place Spain top of the world.

Heroes
HEROES exposition displays the talent of the Golden Age of the Spanish sport, a collection about young champions that place Spain top of the world. From Rafa Nadal to Gómez Noya; from Iker Casillas to Iniesta, from Nico Garcia Hemme to Ona Carbonell; from Fernando Alonso to Carolina Marín; from Pau Gasol to Jennifer Pareja; from Marc Márquez to Lidia Vanentín, from Mireia Belmonte to Melani Costa. A moving trip through the men and women teams of basketball and handball, also our soccer, world champions after winning in South Africa 2010. Spain counts with first class athletes in Yachting, figure skating, badminton, athletics, with Ruth Beitia leading them. Not forgetting motorcycling with Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo; Rhythmic Gymnastics with the world champion women’s team in clubs led by Alejandra Quereda from Alicante.

NICOLÁS GARCÍA HEMME
Won the silver medal in the lighter than 80 kilograms category in Taekwondo in the London Olympic Games 2012, after fighting the finals with Argentinian Sebastián Crismanich who proclaimed himself Olympic Champion. An unfortunate accident when he rode his motorcycle will leave him out of the Rio 2016 Games where the sportsman from the Canary Islands was planning to better his result obtained four years before in London.

MELANI COSTA
Majorcan swimmer Melani Costa achieved in world championship of Barcelona 2013 her best international result becoming runner-up in long pool. A medal that adds up to the gold achieved a year before in the short pool in Istanbul.

LIDIA VALENTÍN
She missed past World Championships of Houston (United States) due to an injury, but that doesn’t change the plan of the weightlifter from Leon, current European champion in lighter than 75 kilograms category. Her season is planned to reach the podium in the Rio Olympics, after almost reaching it (she was fourth) in London 2012.

ONA CARBONELL
Captain of the Spanish team of synchronized swimming, Ona Carbonell achieved her last two medals in technical solo and free solo in the Swimming world championships of Kazan (Russia) in 2015. In Rio 2016 she will join Gemma Mengual to attempt to emulate the second position achieved with Andrea Fuentes in the duet category in the London Olympic Games. She was bronze in team mode.

RYTHMIC GYMNASTICS
Sandra Aguilar, Artemi Gavezou, Elena López, Lourdes Mohedano, Alejandra Quereda and Lidia Redondo completed last September a remarkable performance when they managed, seventeen years later , rise to the pódium in a world championship with a bronze in the finals of the complete competition.

JENNIFER PAREJA
Leader of the Spanish Team of Water polo, she leads the dream of the group directed by Miki Oca of bettering in Rio 2016 the silver medal they had to settle for in London 2012.
Heroine of a historical generation, Jennifer Pareja became as well world champion in Barcelona 2013.
Besides her achievements with the national team she also adds to that her repeated successes with the Sabadell swimming club, who dominates Spain and Europe in the latest years.

RAFA NADAL
29 Years old Rafa Nadal has won in all the great settings: Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the Australia and United States Open, Davis Cup and the Olympic Games. With 14 Grand Slams the left handed Majorcan is still eager to increase his title collection that already rises up to 67 since he conquered on august the 15th 2004 the Sopot(Poland) tennis tournament.

MIREIA BELMONTE
Is one of the main characters in the debut of the women’s sports in Spain. European and World champion, this swimmer from Badalona is also twice runner-up in the Olympics.

SOCCER TEAM. 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
In South Africa 2010, the Spanish team wrote down the second chapter in an untold trilogy in the history of soccer. The success in the finals of the championship with a goal by Andrés Iniesta in the overtime, was placed right between the Spanish victories in the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championship.

ANDRÉS INIESTA
The Midfielder from La Mancha of Barcelona’s team Andrés Iniesta gave the Spanish soccer team their most important victory with the goal in the finals of the South Africa World Championship.
The precise intervention of Andrés Iniesta in the minute 166 of the overtime demolished the resistance of the Dutch team and exalted the Spanish team. That year, Iniesta shared the Ballon d’Or podium with his team mates if Barcelona Leo Messi and Xavi Hernández.

CAROLINA MARÍN
Is rewriting, with her repeated successes the history of badminton in Spain. From Huelva, she became in 2015 double world champion after renewing in Jakarta the title she obtained a year before in Copenhagen. Carolina Marín finished last year with six titles: besides the world championship she achieved the prestigious All England and the Malasia, Australia, France and Hong Kong Opens.

JORGE LORENZO
The Majorcan racer conquered in 2015 for third time in his life the MotoGP World Championship which he had already achieved in 2010 and 2012 he also was victorious in the 250 c.c. category in 2006 and 2007 with Aprilia. His achievements include 60 victories in important competitions and 134 podiums.

MARINA ALABAU
The conquers of the Windsurfer Marina Alabau in RS:X class include a world title (2009) and five Europeans (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012) also a Olympic gold, the one achieved in London 2012.

JAVIER FERNÁNDEZ
'SuperJavi' es el chico de hielo que desafió la historia del patinaje sobre hielo español. Indiscutible dominador de la disciplina en Europa, el madrileño logró el 28 de marzo de 2015 en Shanghái el título más importante de su carrera: Javier Fernández arrebató al japonés Yuzuru Hanyu el primer puesto del podio mundialista con una actuación brillante en el programa libre, caracterizado como 'El Barbero de Sevilla'.
Olímpico en Vancouver 2010 y Sochi 2014, donde fue el abanderado de España y acabó cuarto, Javier Fernández fue además bronce en los Mundiales de 2013 y 2014.

BRIGITTE YAGÜE
Last october the 20th, Bigitte Yagüe confessed she had lost “hove, motivation and the will to win”. This made her decide to quit competing three years after being second best in the London Olympics. The Majorcan, the best taekwondoin in Spain’s history, won three world championships (2993, 2997 and 2009) and four continental (1998, 2002, 2004 and 2008) She also won a European silver (2005) and a bronze (2012), besides being twice runner-up in world championships of 2001 and 2005 and a third place in China World Championship of 2011.

PAU GASOL
Nació en Barcelona en 1980 y, tras su paso por la cantera del FC Barcelona, debutó el 17 de enero de 1999 con la primera plantilla. En el "draft" de la NBA de junio de 2001 fue elegido por los Atlanta Hawks y transferido a los Grizzlies, con los que debutó el 1 de noviembre de ese año.
Tras varias temporadas en Memphis, el 1 de febrero de 2008 el pívot cumplió el sueño de llegar a uno de los grandes al ser traspasado a Los Angeles Lakers, con el que llegó a la final por el título esa temporada. Conquistó su primer anillo de la NBA el 14 de junio de 2009 y, un año y tres días después, logró el segundo.
El 12 de julio de 2014 fichó por los Chicago Bulls, donde ha sido pieza clave y el pasado 11 de enero cuajó la mejor actuación de su carrera al anotar 46 puntos y capturar 18 rebotes.
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AMAYA VALDEMORO
With the triumph in the Eurobasket finals in France 2013, Amaya Valdemoro put an end to 22 years of a sports career where she went from the glory of victories to the martyrdom of injuries.
The best Spanish basketball player of history set the record in international matches in 258 and gave 6 medals to the Spanish team. She also won three WNBA rings, an European league, eight Spanish leagues, nine Queen’s Cup, four supercups a superleague, three Russian cups and three world clubs championships since, being sixteen, she lifter her first trophy.

THAÏS HENRÍQUEZ
Member of the Spanish team for synchronized swimming, Thaïs Henríquez took part in two Olympic Games. In Beijing 2008 she helped conquer the silver medal in the team event and in London 2012 she achieved bronze.

HANDBALL. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. 2013
Ever since 2011 with the only exception of the Olympic Games in London, the Spanish handball team has reached semifinals in all international championships.
Their success as hosts in the Barcelona World Championship 2013 is the greatest deed of the Spanish in the latest times.

RUTH BEITIA
With two European titles, outdoors, and a World bronze in high jump, Ruth Beitia (Santander 1979) is one of the best Spanish athletes of history. Only the Olympic podium resists her advances, the international titles of the jumper from Cantabria include three medals (a silver and two bronze) in the world championships indoors and five (a gold among them) in the indoor European championships.

JAVIER GÓMEZ NOYA
The Galician Javier Gómez Noya made history last September when he won in Chicago an never seen before fifth world title of triathlon, that adds up to his three titles of European championship and the Olympic silver he gained in the London Games. Living legend of Spanish Sports, Gómez Noya 32 years old, will try next summer in Rio de Janeiro the ambitious challenge of adding to his collection of titles an Olympic gold.

WOMEN’S HANDBALL. LONDON 2012.
After achieving the bronze medal in the London Olympic Games in 2012, the “Guerreras” (“Warriors”) will strive to reach the Olympic finals next summer in Rio de Janeiro.
The women’s handball Spanish team, current runner-up in Europe, was directly classified with the triumph of the Norwegian team in the past World Championship in Denmark.

FERNANDO ALONSO
He was only three years old when Fernando Alonso first drove a kart, inheriting his father’s, Jose Luis, passion, who built him a car his size. After shining in several lower categories in January 2001 he was contracted by Renault, that was preparing their return to Formula One. With the French team, after a short transfer to Minardi, he conquered his two world championships in 2005 and 2006.
Fernando Alonso also competed with McLaren and Ferrari and currently races for McLaren-Honda.

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE
35 years old, he’s still the number one in the Union Cycliste Internationale. He finally achieved an honored position in the Tour (he was third) but his feats arrived in the big classics: triplet in Flecha Valona and Lieja-Bastoña. In the world championships the cyclist with most medals in history (six) only reached fifth place.

JUANFRAN TORRES
Recent successes by team Atlético de Madrid have Juanfran Torres in the making.
After achieving the Copa del Rey with the Espanyol in 2006, the winger of Alicante added five titles in the Atletico de Madrid the Cup (2013) the League (2014) and the Spanish Supercup (2014) besides the European League and European Supercup in 2012. That year he achieved his only title with the Spanish team, the Eurocup.

GARBIÑE MUGURUZA
A sus 22 años, Garbiñe Muguruza es la tercera mejor jugadora del circuito femenino de la WTA. Tras inaugurar su palmarés en el año 2014 con su triunfo en Hobart, la tenista se confirmó en 2015 como una de las grandes realidades del tenis mundial: finalista en Wimbledon y Wuhan (China) ante las hermanas Serena y Venus Williams, respectivamente, Garbiñe Muguruza conquistó el segundo título de su carrera en Pekín.
De padre vasco y madre venezolana, Muguruza disputó por vez primera en 2015 las Finales de la WTA, competición que el pasado mes de octubre reunió en Singapur a las ocho mejores del año. La española alcanzó las semifinales.

LEGENDS
A route through the great family of the Spanish sports, that doesn’t forget its classics. From Joaquín Blume to Severiano Ballesteros, from Miguel Induráin to Miriam Blasco, unforgettable judoka that moved us in Barcelona ’92 with the first gold medal from a Spanish woman in the Olympics. They don’t all fit in this wide and victorious scenario. We offer you but a sample. Pure sportsmen. True people.

SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS
Cancer took away, in 2011, one of the first universal icons from Spanish sports. The death of Severiano Ballesteros was wept not only in his birthplace at Pedreña but also beyond the Spanish borders due to his dimension as golf player. United Kingdom was the country that saw him win his first grand title, the British Open, when he was only 22 years old, giving birth to the legend of “Seve” twice champion of the Augusta Masters (1980 and 1983) thrice champion in the British Open (1979,1984 and 1988), four times winner of the Ryder Cup and possessor of 87 titles.

MIGUEL INDURAIN
He has one of the greatest and impeccable record of cycling, with five victories in the Tour de France, two in the Giro d’Italia, a world championship on invidual time trial and an Olympic gold in the same specialty. The man from Navarra racked up nearly 120 lap triumphs since began as a professional in 1985 till his retirement in 1997.

MIRIAM BLASCO
Judoka Miriam Blasco became in Barcelona 1992 the first Spanish Olympic champion. From Valladolid but living in Alicante, she won by yuko in the finals against English Incola Fairbrother.
Blasco however couldn’t share the greatest joy of her career with her trainer, Sergio Cardell who died days before the Olympics in a traffic accident in the Carrasqueta range (Alicante) when he drove his motorcycle.

JOAQUÍN BLUME
Is one of the most important figures of Spanish gymnastics. Son of a gymnastics teacher of German origin, Armando Blume Schmadecki and of Mari Paz Carreras, Joaquin managed in 1957 the European title, only two years before dying in an airplane accident. No other Spanish gymnast has ever achieved a continental medal in the complete competition since then until Martinez won silver in 2005.

SOCCER TEAM. BARCELONA 1992
Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Abelardo Fernández, Toni Jiménez, Roberto Solozábal, Juanma López, Alfonso Pérez, Kiko Narváez, José Emilio Amavisca, Mikel Lasa, Rafa Berges, Albert Ferrer, Gabriel Vidal, Francisco Soler and Miguel Hernández where the members of the team that in Barcelona’92 became Olympic champion. They were the authors of the only success in Olympic Games of the Spanish soccer who won 3-2 against Poland on August the 8th 1992. The ones who scored in that team were the ex-player of Atletico de Madrid Kiko (twice) and the current trainer of Sporting de Gijón, Abelardo Fernández.

AUGUSTO IBÁÑEZ
On October the 5th 2014 August Ibáñez retired from competition with the tribute recieved in the Adarraga Fronton of Logroño. That put an end to 22 years of career, passing up the chance to increase his collection of titles that includes among others, four titles of Spain of couples hand in 1994, 2000, 2004 and 2012.

DAVID CAL
Cangas do Morrazo (Pontevedra) paddler gave up with his announced retirement last march to compete in the Olympic Games of Rio for his sixth olympic medal. His success in the five Olympic finals held at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 where he conquered a gold medal and four silvers turn him into the best Olympic record Spanish sportsman.

Athletes. Spanish champions
Credits: Story

CREDITS
Agencia EFE S.A.U.
www.efe.com
With the inestimable aid of:
Consejo Superior de Deportes
www.csd.gob.es
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