How we have achieved our dream?
20 Jun 2016
26th of June, Dublin. We’re on our way, the anthem is playing, it’s within our grasp, our gaze is focused…
It is been 6 year since rugby 7s gained the new title: Olympic. An Olympic sport. Six years that has seen some fifty people (from both female and male teams) no more and no less… begin fighting for a place to take part in the huge event, the dream. It isn’t just a dream of Spanish rugby but a dream shared among a wide variety of sports and athletes; it is one of their biggest aspirations, that is, within itself, another huge challenge, a bigger goal, The Olympic Games.
26th of June. Against all odds and beliefs of the majority, the Spanish Male Rugby Team had a spectacular tournament, it was almost perfect. They competed with great ambition along with the attitude of playing as if each game was their last. The team knew there plan was to achieve their main goal. however actually doing it isn’t that easy. Not only do they compete against the best teams in the world, the favourites, the experienced and well rehearsed teams, The lions (Los Leones) won, against the odds that were stacked against them. People thought their success would put more pressure on us. Yes the boys did the “practically impossible” they had won. Up until the last couple of matches, our journey had been much more straight forward, it was up to us whether or not we could do it = higher psychological pressure.
It has been 6 years of working on goals with my coach Rubén Duque. It’s been 6 years since I drew a stadium on a piece of paper, it wasn't too big or too small, but it is full of smiling faces, in the entrance of the stadium is the name “Rio 2016” clearly written with the coloured rings so there is no doubt what event this drawing shows.
26th June 2016. I was calmer than ever. I wholeheartedly believe that our step into the Spanish Rugby Team is fleeting, it has an impact and it is a responsibility. My goal for Spanish Rugby is to help it, and as the Maoris say when they talk about their black jersey, leave the jersey in a higher place than where you started in it. This is speaking metaphorically for how you can add something to the jersey, for how you represent your team and the rugby world to be able to help rugby grow. This also resonates with all of us who know and love the sport… When the boys qualified, it made me excited as I watched on the screen, and in that same moment, I felt calm: Spanish rugby would be represented at the Olympics, the goal was achieved, a Spanish rugby team whichever one, male or female, would represent Spain in Rio. What makes it all worthwhile and what I hope for is that it promotes the sport and that it will be shown in our country. That’s what we are really hoping for. What’s more is, 3 million people will watch the match with the least amount of views, imagine how many more there could be…
It’s been years since I felt this kind of responsibility. For me, I see it as a challenge. To leave Spanish rugby in terms of playing, at the highest level possible, higher than any of us could ever have dreamed. I don’t feel any kind of pressure, I have waited years and years for this, we have trained for hours and hours every day for this exact purpose.