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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 11 July, 2020

Spanish swimmer stays on blocks to observe minute's silence for attack victims

‘I do not mind, I have a feeling worth more than if I won all the gold medals in the world.’

Image: Club Natación Cádiz Twitter.

A SPANISH SWIMMER observed his own minute’s silence on the blocks during his final at the Masters World Championships, and subsequently sacrificed his own race to pay tribute to the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks.

Fernando Alvarez, from Cadiz, Spain had asked the organisers of the competition in Budapest to hold a minute’s silence to honour the victims, but his request was denied.

So instead Alvarez remained on his starting blocks as the rest of the 200m breastroke field dived to the water.

He began the race after his 60 seconds of silence.

“They told me that it was not possible [to have a minute's silence] because not a minute could be wasted,” Alvarez told local media after the race.

“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 won all the gold medals in the world.”

People took to social media afterwards to applaud Alvarez for his selfless tribute to the victims of last week’s attacks.

“All his teammates, like his club feel very proud of him, we want to congratulate him for being a great person!” Alvarez’s swimming club, Club Natación Cádiz, wrote.

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Emma Duffy

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