In a rare case that will bring tears to your eyes, Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez lost the 17th FINA Masters World Championships in Budapest on Saturday because he decided to pay a personal tribute to the victims of Barcelona attack, according to a report by The Telegraph. Alvarez who was participating in the final of the men’s 200 backstroke at 17th FINA Masters World Championships had reportedly asked FINA (the International Swimming Federation) to hold a one-minute period of silence before the start of his race. However, the body had denied permission by saying that they couldn’t spare a minute from their timeline (“No se puede perder ni un minute” were his exact words to reporters).
Despite that, Alvarez, who swims with the club Natacion Cadiz decided to honour the victims. He stood on the block at the start of his heat of the 200 breast stroke event on Saturday morning, and after hearing the starting gun signal, he waited 60 seconds before beginning his race. Even though his time was not recorded the Spanish swimmer said he felt better than winning a medal. “I started a minute late. But that doesn’t matter. What I was feeling was more than if I had won all of the gold medals in the world,” he was quoted saying after the race.
Here is the video of the race:
While speaking to media after the race, Alvarez said the incident affected everyone. “They told me that it was not possible [to have minute’s silence] because not a minute could be wasted. 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. So I started a minute later. But I do not mind, I have a feeling worth more than if I win all the gold medals in the world,” he said.