In the context of International Women’s Day we at DynamiCore want to dedicate this blogpost to a series of Spanish women who achieved extraordinary classifications in the Olympics. They represent the fighting spirit and competitor that every athlete has within and they are a role model for those women who aspire to compete in the Olympics.
Let’s go back to 776 BC for background, when the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece began. The Olympic Games were dedicated to the Greek god Zeus and were celebrated in Olympia, where there was a temple dedicated to him. But the games were reserved to men – women were relegated to a secondary scenario.
Near the temple of Olympia, in the temple of the Greek goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, is where today the Olympic torch is lit before it leaves for the host country, but in 776 BC it was the place where the games dedicated to Hera were held in which unmarried young women participated.
When the Olympic Games were revived in 1896, women were also excluded but four years later, at the Olympic Games of Paris in 1900, 22 women competed in the categories of sailing, golf, tennis and croquet. Swiss athlete Hélène de Pourtalès was the first woman to compete in the Olympics and became the first Olympic champion to win a medal when her team won the first sailing competition of the games.
But since Hélène de Pourtalès was crowned first Olympic woman, there have been many others who have followed her footsteps, including great Spanish athletes.
The Olympic Games of Barcelona 92 marked a before and after in Spanish women medalists. Until then, the medals achieved by Spain were only men’s, but this trend got to an end in 1992. That year, for the first time, Spanish female athletes won 8 medals, 4 of them gold. Although Barcelona was where the first Spanish women’s Olympic medal was won, many more followed.
Four of the gold medalists were:
- The women’s hockey team: Mª Carmen Barea, Sonia Barrio, Mercedes Coghen, Celia Corres, Natalia Dorado, Anna Maiques, Elisabeth Maragall, Mª Isabel Martínez de Murguía, Nuria Olivé, Virginia Ramírez Merino, Masa Rodríguez, Nagore Gabellanes, Mariví González, Silvia Manrique Pérez, Teresa Motos, Maider Telleria.
- Almudena Muñoz in the category of judo
- Miriam Blasco in the category of judo
- Patricia Guerra and Theresa Zabell in the category of 470 sailing
Zabell is the only Olympian competing for Spain who has won two gold medals. The second gold medal she won was at the Atlanta 96 Olympic Games.
During the Atlanta 96 games, there were two Spanish women’s teams that won an Olympic gold medal: Theresa Zabell and Begoña Vía-Dufresne in sailing and the rhythmic gymnastics team composed by Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Estela Giménez, Lorena Guréndez, Tania Lamarca, Estíbaliz Martínez.
Sidney 2000 was a year in which the Olympic medal table both for Spanish male and female plunged. But an athlete managed to get the gold medal in her category: Isabel Fernandez Gutierrez in judo.
After two blank Olympics for Spanish female athletes, London 2012 was a turning point and more women than men made it to the top. Female olympians got three gold medals while men were left with one. That year, women’s sailing was on top, with female Spanish sailors winning a gold medal in two categories: Marina Alabau in RS: X and Tamara Echegoyen, Ángela Pumariega and Sofía Toro in Elliott 6m. The other gold medal was for Lídia Valentín in weightlifting.
In Rio 2016, the last Olympic Games held, Spanish female olympics shone again. Even though men were still the majority, women again dominated the gold medal gold, winning 4 gold medals against the three won by men. On this occasion, the Olympians who won the gold were: Mireia Belmonte in swimming, Maialen Chourraut in canoeing, Carolina Marín in badminton and Ruth Beitia in athletics.
All the female Spanish Olympians who have won a gold medal have struggled to reach the podium and have devoted hours and hours to their physical preparation. Each training and each championship has added up to arrive where they have arrived. With perseverance and a lot of dedication, they have all made history.
At DynamiCore we believe in perseverance and dedication. With each exercise of crosspilates, our muscle reaches a new limit and each session has an impact. We like to be demanding with our body and then see and feel the results (even if it means having some stiffness/sore muscles the next day).
Today we wanted to highlight all the Spanish Olympians who have won a gold medal because they are a role model. In addition, they are a reference for everyone and especially for other women athletes. Sport does not understand gender and should be encouraged equally for men and women since it’s a matter of wellbeing and health.
Here at DynamiCore we do cross-pilates classes for women, men, third gender, etc. We like everyone to feel welcome. Pilates, or cross-pilates in our case, does not understand gender, it is a sport that requires technique and has a number of benefits for those who practice it, regardless of their sex.