Martín López-Zubero, 30 years of the historic medal

Very few medals in and out of the water weigh the gold that Martin Lopez Zubero won at the Barcelona Olympics in the 200 backstroke.Olympic record included. Perhaps Fermin Cacho was in the 1500ft and very few others. That’s great on July 28, the day of Spain’s first Olympic gold in swimming. Three decades later, it’s still Aragon’s only gold medal in an Olympic event.

Martín López-Zubero is the third son of an ophthalmologist in Zaragoza, Jose Luis López Zubero., an epic predecessor of key athletes not only understanding Spanish swimming, but also Spanish sports in the 1980s and 1990s.López Zubero Sr. was an international basketball player. Barely one meter and 83 cm, he played central Spain in the fifties. In his best moments, when Barcelona wanted to sign him and everything, he suffered an ankle injury. The setback in basketball made him focus on medicine. In addition to being a basketball player and a doctor, he is a true visionary. Thus, in 1955 he immigrated to the United States with other prominent young doctors from Aragon, such as the microbiologist Gomez Luce and the pediatrician Sarria.

He settled in the United States in Florida, where he met the Irishman Elizabeth Purcell and raised a family, and there he raised his children on education and sports as motivators in their lives. David was born in 1959another legendary name in the history of swimming and Spanish sports, such as Spain’s first swimming medal, with bronze in Moscow 80. The 53-second mark and 13 hundredths in 100 butterflies pushed out on July 23, 1980 took him forever. Two years after David’s birth, in 1961, Julia was born. She was not an Olympic medalist like her brothers, but Julia was also a very distinguished swimmer, competing in Moscow in 1980 and She was the first Spanish woman to lose one minute in the 100 freestyle.

And the third of the epic, Martin, was also blessed. Jacksonville (Florida) was born on April 23… Aragon Day, 1969. Much taller (1.88 meters) than David and his father (yes, the one who wanted to sign with Barcelona as center…). At the age of eight, he was already starting to make waves in the Playas de Jacksonville tournament. In 1987, he participated in his first international competition, the European Championships in Strasbourg. Of course, always with Spain. The mother tongue is usually spoken at home, which is Irish in our case. But there was no doubt that Lopez-Zopiros would compete with Spain,” David admitted during his visit to Zaragoza at the end of October 2022. There were some comments in my case, in Moscow 80, because I lived in the United States and the United States: The United States did not go to Moscow to boycott after the invasion of Afghanistan. But López-Zuberos always compete with Spain,” David repeated on an unforgettable walk from Avenue Alfonso I to Helios.

He had already participated in Seoul, but Martin’s games were those of Barcelona 92, where he arrived as world champion and European champion. If David fell in love with swimming watching Mark Spitz on TV at Munich 72, Martin fell in love with watching his brother David, who is ten years older than him. His brother and father, José Luis, are fundamental to this milestone in Spanish sport, as they led every move of the human machine that flew in Barcelona 92. “My father was always close to everything, far above us. Also on our travels, when we passed cities and showed them to us. We were taught to fight,” David emphasized. Fight to the end. Just like David in Moscow, when he finally turned around and came from behind with a great final length.

The same thing happened in Barcelona, ​​in the Bicornel Pond. It was clearer than asylum soup: If López-Zubero reached the final stage with his choices, he’d got something. and hunting. I already think he was hunting. Martin was fifth on the last lap, 150 metres, but fell on a final length of history. However, he fought to the end. Russia’s Silkov had commanded authority throughout the test, but in the final 50m Martin Lopez Zubero signed a massive comeback. Driven by underwater water that the rest of its competitors can’t reach, He stopped the clock in first place, with 1:58.47. Al Ain, in addition to gold, Olympic record.

And much more. He has put world swimming in one file. In addition to seeing the Spanish flag soaring above the stars and stripes accompanied by the Spanish national anthem, the United States has seen this happen and Spain has bragged about it. Eight-year Olympic record holder. This is the king of the world for more than an entire generation of swimmers. His reign in Spain lasted longer: 16 years, until he was defeated by Aschwin Wildeboer in 2008.

In addition to Barcelona, ​​where his father and brother knew how to build the most suitable environment for maximum performance, Martin won the World Cup twice and five European Championships, most recently in his farewell party in Seville 97, one World Cup silver, one bronze and two continental silvers.. An approach unparalleled in the history of Spanish sport, on July 28, 1992, marked his eternal career: gold in the 200 backstroke in Barcelona.

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