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Elena Benítez, a Sampedreña Star, Takes Part in a Glorious Tribute to the 199

May 1, 2024
Elena Benítez, a Sampedreña Star, Takes Part in a Glorious Tribute to the 199 - mini1 1714152211 - Local Events and Festivities -

Elena Benítez Honored at COE Tribute Event

Elena Benítez, a native of Sampedro, was interviewed during a tribute event held by the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) on Friday. The event was organized to honor over 200 Spanish athletes who participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Among the attendees were King Felipe VI and the Minister of Culture and Sports, Pilar Alegría, along with other authorities.

Barcelona Olympics: A Milestone for Spanish Sports

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics marked a significant boost for Spanish sports, with the country securing 22 medals and 41 diplomas, a record that has not been matched since. The COE organized this tribute event with just 99 days left until the Paris 2024 Games. King Felipe VI, who was the Spanish flag bearer in Barcelona, attended the event, along with Pilar Alegría, Minister of Culture, Science and Sports, and José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, President of the Superior Council of Sports (CSD).

Spanish Athletes’ Remarkable Performance

It was noted that 54% of Spanish athletes finished among the top eight in their respective events. “We achieved a dream,” said Alejandro Blanco, President of the COE. The Barcelona Games left unforgettable moments, such as Fermín Cacho’s victory in the 1500 meters and the gold medal in football.

Elena Benítez: A Golden Journey in Taekwondo

Among the attendees was Elena Benítez from Sampedro, who won a gold medal in taekwondo when it was still an exhibition sport. She had also participated in the Seoul Games (1988) and concluded her Olympic journey in Sydney 2000, by which time taekwondo had become an official sport. “It’s very exciting to be part of the Olympic expedition and live in the village,” Benítez said during the event.

Trailblazer in Spanish Sports

Benítez emphasized that “we were paving the way, and for me, it was a privilege to be part of this generation of athletes that marked a turning point in Spanish sports.” Benítez will be participating in her ninth Olympic Games. She has been part of three as an athlete and five more as a coach or technical director: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio de Janeiro 2016, and Tokyo 2020. Now, she adds Paris 2024 to her list, once again as the technical director of the Spanish Taekwondo Federation, one of the most medal-winning federations in Spanish sports.

First Female Olympian from Malaga

Elena Benítez was the first woman from Malaga to participate in the Olympic Games, starting with the Seoul Games in 1988, making her a pioneer in local and provincial sports. This morning, Benítez participated in a tribute event to the Spanish Olympians of Barcelona 92. The Sampedro native won gold in taekwondo as an exhibition sport and paved the way for Spain’s great successes in this sport.

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