Until recently, directing films seemed off-limits to women in Spain, but a new generation of filmmakers —Carla Simón, Pilar Palomero, or Paula Ortiz, among others— have broken through that glass ceiling.
Sports Journalism Is A Woman Thing
Pioneering names in sports journalism such as Mª Carmen Izquierdo, María Escario or Paloma del Río broke the moulds in a world that seemed reserved for men. Their baton has been picked up by new generations, represented by Susana Guash, Sara Carbonero or Silvia Barba achieving greater visibility for women’s sports in the process. The long distance race continues.
Mª Carmen Izquierdo
She took the first step. Mª Carmen Izquierdo (Lerma, 1950) is, without a doubt, the great pioneer of women’s sports journalism in Spain, as she became the first woman to report on sports on Spanish national television, and also the first to do so on the station’s 24-hour newscast, as well as in the legendary Estudio Estadio show. Older viewers will still remember how she became a familiar face on Televisión Española in the seventies and eighties, where she covered major events such as the Olympics, and the World and European Football Cups. Because of her brilliant career, the current general director of the Olympic Sports Association (ADO) is also a member of the Spanish Olympic Committee and the Jury of the Princess of Asturias Sports Award.
If women’s sports are becoming ever more popular, it’s in great part thanks to María Escario (Madrid, 1959). The current Director of Communication of RTVE, who 30 years ago was a pioneer in sports journalism, has stated on more than one occasion that when she arrived at the sports office, she began to make her way covering rhythmic gymnastics, since the main sports were covered by men. From there, she went on to cover seven Olympic Games, three World Cups, two European Championships, six Champions League finals and many of the most important sport events. If the TVE sports section has a face, it’s María Escario’s, who’s always ready to defend the visibility of women’s sports and to support new talents.
Paloma del Río
And if María Escario is the image, Paloma del Río (Madrid, 1960) is the voice. The television broadcast of sports like rhythmic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics, figure skating and horse riding would not be the same without her blunt, critical, deliberate and extremely knowledgeable comments, not to mention her silences. She is the sports journalist who’s covered the most Olympic Games: a whopping ten in total – six Summer and 4 Winter Olympics, plus countless European and World Championships. If you’re Spanish and you know what an Inverted Cross, an Axel or a Lutz is, surely you owe it to Paloma del Río.
A daughter of journalist Tomás Guasch and granddaughter of a manager of Barcelona football team Sant Andreu, Susana Guasch (Barcelona, 1979) was destined to work in sports. And more specifically football, because, although she does admit she has a passion for tennis and especially for Rafa Nadal, soccer is her thing, and “the Champions League is the ultimate event”. She used to cover all things Barcelona and Espanyol. Later, she got hired by Real Madrid TV, and after that she moved to La Sexta, where she spent twelve years before heading to Movistar+ channel #Vamos. Her somewhat tense interviews with Luis Enrique are famous, such as the one in which he answered “Talk about whatever you want, and I’ll answer whatever I want”.
Sara Carbonero’s (Corral de Almaguer, 1984) career in sports journalism started at Radio Marca. After that, she worked for Cadena SER and La Sexta, until she took on the job of sports presenter at Informativos Telecinco. She has also collaborated with Italian TV channels, the Mexican chain Televisa, the Marca sports dailies, and currently with Deportes Cuatro. Football is her life, both professionally and privately, which, however, does not stand in the way of her collaborations with lifestyle magazines such as Elle or her increasingly established modelling career. Her beauty, which can sometimes eclipse everything else, is always a bonus.
There were no journalists or football players around when she was little, but when she was ten, Madrid-born Silvia Barba knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. She liked football and she wanted to talk about it. And that’s exactly what she’s been doing for years on Spanish national TV station TVE, where she ended up after a career forged in the world of sports on stations such as Telemadroño, Onda Madrid, Real Madrid TV, and later the Marca newspaper and Radio Marca, where she reported on everything related to Atlético de Madrid. She has covered the successes of the Spain squad during the European Championship and the 2010 World Cup, the greatest triumph in the history of Spanish football. She is, without a doubt, the face of the Spanish national team.