There was a time, not so long ago - the airwaves sounded like ‘Las chicas son guerreras’ (‘Girls are Warriors’) - in which girls like Silvia Navarro and Carmen Martín, today’s captains of the Spanish handball team lacked female references. Times have changed and now they are the mirror in which thousands of girls can look at themselves.
Volando a Tokio
With Unwavering Enthusiasm
On the occasion of the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Iberia is supporting a group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Led by weightlifter Lydia Valentín, who will fight for her fourth consecutive medal, the ‘team' of athletes sponsored by the company will face challenges in disciplines as diverse as shooting, taekwondo, karate, judo, sailing, canoeing, swimming, powerlifting, and triathlon.
A few months shy of Tokyo Olympics, Iberia is supporting sports beyond the sponsorship of the Men's and Women's Football and Basketball Teams. The initiative Volando a Tokio (Flying to Tokyo) demonstrates the company’s commitment to Spanish sports, endorsing disciplines that may not be as well known to the general public, but which also share values such as effort, perseverance and, in short, talent.
The ‘Iberia Team’ is made up of twelve athletes who will compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They all provide an example of the work, endurance and capacity to improve that are essential to contend in the Olympic Games. Among them, Lydia Valentín stands out. Born in Ponferrada (León), she will compete with unwavering enthusiasm in her fourth Olympic Games after pocketing three consecutive medals in Beijing, London, and Rio. In Paralympic weightlifting, also known as powerlifting, Loida Zabala hopes to upgrade the diploma she won in the previous games.
One of the much-anticipated performances is that of karateka Sandra Sánchez, who will be competing in the debut of the discipline as an Olympic sport in its country of origin. Named “best karateka ever”, she will be joined on the tatami by Jesús Tortosa —taekwondo, a 58-kg category— and by judoka Niko Sherazadishvili.
Traditionally, Spanish water sports teams have delivered a great performance at Olympic Games. Canoeist Teresa Portela is also travelling to Tokyo, becoming the first Spanish sportswoman to compete in six Olympic Games. In contrast, for Silvia Mas (470 sailing) Tokyo 2020 will be her first time. In Paralympic swimming, María Delgado and Sarai Gascón know well what it is like to compete at this level since together account for almost ten medals.
Supporting Diversity in Spanish Sports
The diversity of the Spanish Tokyo 2020 Olympic delegation is remarkable, as well as the athletes making up the Iberia Team. María López is the captain the women's national field hockey team, a sport that has been bringing joy to Spain since the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. These will be Córdoba-born trap-shooter Fátima Gálvez’s third games after achieving bronze at the 2019 World Championship. Meanwhile, Eva Moral hopes to qualify in Paralympic triathlon after five years paved with success.
The Volando a Tokyo initiative aims to show support to all Spanish athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and specially to highlight the values that make them an example of improvement, day after day, beyond fame or recognition by the general public.