Tuesday, 29 July 2008

ENG: Catalan Muscles Promoting Spain

Spanish sports is going through what some have called an Annus Mirabilis. So far in 2008, cyclist Alberto Contador has won the Giro d’Italia, “la Roja” – the Spanish national football team – are the Euro2008 champions, Rafael Nadal has won at Roland Garros as well as at Wimbledon and this weekend cyclist Carlos Sastre took home the victory of Tour de France.

Further triumphs will most likely be added when the Beijing Olympics start in a few days. The expectations are high and right-wing newspaper El Mundo now offers a presentation of the individual sportsmen under the headline “los nuestros”, specified as “españoles” (“ours” and “Spaniards”, respectively) when you follow the link.

At the same time, LaVanguardia reveals that 1 out of 3 (32,6%) of those who will represent Spain in China, come from Catalonia. This is the autonomous community which sends the highest number of participants (94 of 288 in total) to the games, while Madrid is number two with 40 and Andalusia third with 26.

I cannot help wondering how many of these sportsmen would, in fact, prefer to hear the Catalan “Els Segadors” rather than the Spanish national anthem “la Marcha Real” if they manage to make it to the top of the podium.
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Related media: El Mundo 1, El País 1, LaVanguardia 1

Technorati tags: Catalan, Catalonia,


California CAT said...

Although I’m sure many of those Catalan athletes are proud to represent Spain, for those that do not necessarily feel that way, it would be great to see a repeat of the controversial Black Panthers ‘68 Olympics salute a la Catalan style. Talk about placing an issue on the international stage; people might actually have to talk about it, or at least try to explain it. But alas, I doubt anything will happen. Although the upcoming Olympics do seem a bit more politically charged, especially with Tibet on people’s minds; you never know.

Erik Wirdheim said...

California Cat,

I truly hope that we will be able to see some protests during the Olympics (Amnesty Internationals report from earlier this week was very negative.) and that the Chinese censors do not manage remove everything disturbing thanks to the delay they have given themselves in the "live" broadcasting.

But let us save the powerful gestures for those who really need them. There will of course be those who disagree, but personally I do not think that Catalans experience anything close to the discrimation which black people suffered from in the US of the 60-ies.

Just like you am I sure that many of the Catalan sportsmen are proud to represent Spain.