Miriam Blasco: “I realized that my Olympic gold was historic when I saw that it was a Trivial question”


Former judoka Miriam Blasco, the first Spanish athlete to win an Olympic gold for Spain, at the 1992 Barcelona Games, realized that her medal was “historic” when she was told that it was “a Trivial question” – a trivia game. of general culture–, and he also does not forget the “camaraderie” that was generated among the Spanish team in an event at home that gave him “wings” to compete.

“Friends forever, something unites us, there is something very special because also speaking with colleagues who have gone to other Games they say that that camaraderie was not created, having competed in the Games in Spain and how they lived, I think that in the end the “This song marks everything, ‘friends forever,'” Blasco recalled in an interview with Europa Press in relation to the song that ‘Los Manolos’ popularized for that event.

The 60-year-old from Valladolid was one of the more than 200 athletes honored by the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) and the Kings of Spain in an event held at the organization’s headquarters in Madrid last Friday, April 26. The former athlete was one of the pioneers of Spanish sport when she won the first Olympic medal for Spanish women’s sport in Barcelona 92, which was gold, in the -56 kg category.

A feat that gives her “pride” and makes her see that she is “in the history” of national sports, although she wanted to highlight the role of all the women who competed in the Games in the Catalan city. “We were the women of Barcelona. The day coincided (July 31, 1992), but Barcelona was something special and many doors were opened there,” she recalled.

“I realized later that I was and we were pioneers in Spanish sport. I remember when they told me about the trivia question, it was a trivia question. It seemed to me like something more historic, but especially when you see the young people who see you as a reference or that you have inspired them, that seems to me to be when I clicked, when I said ‘oh man, this medal is more than just a medal,'” he confessed.

The former judoka, who won gold after her coach, Sergio Cardell, died just before the event, was also champion (1991) and third in the world (1989), and added five other medals at the European level between 1988 and 1994. (one gold, one silver and three bronzes).

Although nothing is comparable to the experience lived in a Games. “I remember the impressive Olympic Village, you saw all the NBA players, people from different countries, it was like a show every day. And then competing at home, with much more support. There were teammates who said that it put a lot of pressure on them. more, but being at home gave me wings,” he revealed.


Blasco, who in 2015 married the rival he defeated in the 1992 Olympic final, the British Nicola Fairbrother, chose judo almost by chance. “We were nine brothers, two of them did gymnastics, the other two did judo…” he said.

“And from the beginning I fell in love with this sport, I enjoyed it a lot, and in my time there were no girls doing judo, I competed with boys,” she recalled. “Sport is part of my life because I love it, I also ride a mountain bike, it is something that is part of my life,” added Blasco.

The former judoka, awarded the Reina Sofía Award in 1991 and 1992 and the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit in 1994, also experienced the Atlanta Games (United States) in 1996, although as a coach. In a role in which she “suffers more.”

“When you are a competitor it depends on you, but when you are a coach, from the chair, it is often more difficult. But it is true that it is also very nice to see the triumphs of your students,” said the former athlete.

With less than 100 days until the Paris 2024 Games, which will celebrate their opening ceremony on July 26, Blasco hoped that the Spanish Team will surpass the 22 medals won in Barcelona in the French capital, which remains Spain’s best result in this event. . “It would have to be because we are talking about 32 years and if not, something has to be done,” he reflected.

Furthermore, Spanish judo has the goal of returning to the Olympic box for the first time since Sydney 2000, with Isabel Fernández as the last national medalist in the Games, after her gold in the -57 kg category. “In the previous Games, Niko Sherazadishvili was a double world champion, but that’s the pressure many times… And especially in judo, in a second you can lose, if your mind goes a little bit…”, he analyzed about one of the medal options for Spain, which was seventh in -90 kg in Tokyo.

“There are young people who do not have the responsibility that Niko has, who also has much more experience and knows how to work more under pressure. But we have fantastic judokas. I am sure and I hope so,” Blasco concluded.