A Spanish swimming champion who sacrificed his medal chance to pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona terrorist attack has been hailed as a hero.
Fernando Alvarez held a minute’s silence on the blocks at the FINA Masters World Championships as his competitors competed in the 200-metre breaststroke final.
“I started a minute later,” he told local media at the championships in Budapest, Hungary.
“But I do not mind, I have a feeling worth more than if I win all the gold medals in the world.”
Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez (circled) holds a minute’s silence on the blocks at the FINA Masters World Championships as his competitors dive in. Photo: Supplied
Alvarez, 71, told media he asked the organisers of the event whether a minute’s silence could be held on Friday to honour the victims of the Barcelona terrorist attack that killed 14 and injured 130 but his request was declined.
“They told me that it was not possible [to have a minute’s silence] because not a minute could be wasted,” he said.
“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.”
Another swimmer told swimswam南京夜网 that a minute’s silence was observed at the start of Saturday’s competition.
Alvarez’s personal tribute has been applauded on social media while FINA has been shamed. Respect to Fernando Alvarez, requested a minute silence, officials refused, so stays on the starting block for 1 minute, then jumped in.. pic.twitter南京夜网/XN9xtzKGY8??? Sports Funnies (@SportsFunnies) August 21, 2017The Meet organizers should be ashamed of themselves! Kudos to Fernando Alvarez!??? Mike Richardson (@mgrich70) August 22, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.