17 Medals and 42 diplomas: How can Spain reach 22 in Barcelona?

The 17 Medals of Spain in Tokyo (three golds, eight plates and six bronzes), indicate that Spain is maintained in the same segment. Neither advances nor goes ba

17 Medals and 42 diplomas: How can Spain reach 22 in Barcelona?

The 17 Medals of Spain in Tokyo (three golds, eight plates and six bronzes), indicate that Spain is maintained in the same segment. Neither advances nor goes back, although with a general competitive level: 42 diplomas, in addition to metals. She has, yes, claroscuros. The good health of athletics contrasts with the bad tendency of swimming, once the great era of Mireia Belmonte is finished. The balance is more positive than negative, since the context of recent years has penalized the economic resources that sustain the Olympic sport. Specifically, the ADO program, key in the 22 medals of Barcelona'92, the date of takeoff. The stars eat apart. Some of his absences waned podiums: Rafa Nadal, John Rahm or Carolina Marín. The difficulties derived from the pandemic have been, on the other hand, by all, although they have been more pernicious for Europeans, given that the limitations on room in Japan harmed countries with more time difference, having less adaptation time. The complaints of the technicians in Tokyo have been numerous. The 92 roof is nearby, within reach. The question is how to break it.

If the participants are questioned, the answer is always the same: money. It seems evident, if the numbers are reviewed, but it is not just that. ADO, a public-private formula to finance the preparation of Olympic athletes, raised 12,000 million pesetas (about 79 million euros) in the cycle that went from Seoul'88 to Barcelona'92. Sports success was a matter of state. The formula worked, but the investment fell to 32 million in Atlanta'96. The flow of medallists from 92, however, brought the booty to 17, with half investment. The effects were noted in Sydney 2000, despite increasing endowment (42 million). Only 11 medals, the worst result after 92.

The need to inject more resources rehabilitated the ADO, with strong tax breaks for companies until reaching 63 million Beijing 2008. It was the last treasure. The financial crisis unleashed by the fall of Lehman Brothers and the change of regime in RTVE, driven by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, made that the ADO ceased to be attractive for companies, who no longer have advertising space for their products. Only the calls of the 'Get' King Juan Carlos were left. The contribution fell to 52 million in London 2012, 36 in Rio 2016 and 22 for Tokyo 2020. Achieve, then, 17 metals, two less than in London and as in Rio, although then with six gold, it is to do almost the same with less.

For Spanish athletes, it is not only the ADO, but also the money that reaches the federations via State budgets. These also suffered strong reductions, but in the last assignment, of the year 2021, their losses with an allocation of 66.8 million have been returned separately, an increase of 23.5%. The effects should be for the next cycle.

The scholarship system is necessary, but it has a pernicious effect and is to accommodate the athlete, which with a great brand or result can justify a whole year. Upgrade, it can also be misguided. The swimmer Hugo González, present at the end of 100 back but not in the 200 styles, where he aspired to a medal, put on the continuity of him due to aid. You have to check the entire model.

The way to grow in medals is not related only with the best preparation or media, but also with strategic elections. The gold of Sara Sánchez in Karate or Alberto Ginés on climbing are examples of how in sports with less competition, it is easier to upload to the podium if its practice is encouraged and good selection technical programs are made. Spain already did it with synchronized swimming. In Tokyo, he has uploaded the podium in 12 sports, one more than in Barcelona.

Instead, get Mohamed Katir, for example, or Nico García, both finalists, at 1,500 and 200 back, respectively, are medalists in Paris 2024 is not just a matter of money. Athletics and swimming require great successes in technical and planning issues. The Federation that presides Raúl Chapado has done well, by modernizing the organism and having greater sensitivity for the work of personal technicians. The results are magnificent. Although only the bronze of Ana Peleteiro shines, there have been another 10 finalists (four quarters, three fifths, two sixth and one eighth). The cross is online swimming. For Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, maintaining the level is a "success".

By Tokyo, José Manuel Franco, Secretary of State for Sport, and Miquel Iceta, New Minister of Culture and Sports. Changes in the political dome have been many and more related to the sudoku of charges than with the interests of sport. In this way they feel it in the federations. More sensitivity would be appreciated.

Updated Date: 08 August 2021, 09:35

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