Barcelona terror attacks: Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez holds minutes' silence by himself, at cost of medal
Spain's Fernando Alvarez sacrificed his race to hold a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks
Sometimes, one doesn't necessarily have to win something to be called a winner.
Spain's Fernando Alvarez stood still as the buzzer went off in the 200 metres breaststroke final at the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest. It was not because he was facing jitters or succumbed to pressure. Alvarez sacrificed his race to hold a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks.
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) August 22, 2017
It has been reported that Alvarez had requested a minute's silence to be observed before the race but the authorities did not pay any heed to it. So Alvarez decided to stand on the starting blocks and joined the race only after 60 seconds.
Alvarez spoke to the newspaper El Espanol about officials denying his request and his gesture: "It’s something that has affected us all, but maybe because of the distance and because I have family there… I really think it would have been a good thing to do.
“I stayed alone. I left a minute later. But I do not care, I felt better than if I won all the gold in the world.”
On Facebook, Alvarez's swimming club Natacion Cadiz praised Alvarez's actions.
"In life you have to hold values above everything else," they wrote.
"It is a great example for our swimmers. All of his peers at his club feel very proud of him. We want to congratulate him for being a great person. For us he won gold."
With his remarkable deed, Alvarez showed the world that emotions in sports are not exclusively related to victories and defeats.
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