Sports Eye

My enjoyable trip in Spain

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

 

LLORET de MAR, GIRONA, SPAIN – I’M making this piece early (June 12) because I’m flying back home tomorrow via Hong Kong. My 14-day stay in this alluring and shining place was so enjoyable, compliments of Alex Moulic Lopez and family, formerly from Brgy. Guesang, Mangaldan and my former cycling protégé who won the gold medal in the 1987 Jakarta Southeast Asia Games.

While here, I still managed to watch the boxing matches between two world champions Terrence Crawford and Jeff Horn on YouTube, where world junior welterweight titleholder Crawford TKO’d Horn of Australia in the 9th round to win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown. Remember Horn? He conquered national treasure Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. I also watched on TV how the world-rated Filipino pugilist Albert “Prince” Pagara stop Ghana’s Laryea Gabriel Odoi in three rounds to reclaim the WBO Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Championship in the main event of ALA Promotions Pinoy Pride 44 in Maasin, Leyte.

Then, I watched the Spain’s sports hero Rafael Nadal demolish Austria’s new tennis sensation Dominic Thiem in three straight sets, 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2 in the 2018 French Open. It’s Nadal’s 11th French Open Championship victories that many believe are hard to equal or to surpass.  “It will take a lot of decades to match or exceed the feat of Nadal and maybe the guy is not yet born,” sports buff Alex Lopez said.

I also watched how the more skilled world-prominent lawn tennis player Simona Halep of Romania trounce US new discovery and less-experienced Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

But still, the best thing that ever happened to me here was my personal visit to the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium where my first child and my only cycling son Jazy representing Guam paraded with the best athletes in the world. His second was the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Well, he failed to win a medal but at least he was an Olympian that many athletes in the world could not achieve, including myself.

My other memorable day here was my visit to Cerbere, France last June 4, some 4 kilometers from Spain.

I came to Spain to see the land of my original roots from my father’s side. Remember, like me and some Filipinos, whose roots are also from Spain. After all, we were colonized by Spain 376 years. Our last names, like those in South America are proofs of that. Latino countries were also conquered by the Spaniards.

This explains, Alex said, that most of the tourists here are from Hispanic nations like Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Ecuador, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, among others. Like the US, I describe this nation as the ‘melting-pot’ of the world. Alex pointed out that tourism is one of the vital economic resources of this country. I agree. Lloret de Mar town with beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea is crowded with foreign tourists, particularly, the South Americans, and those from England and Russia.

Honestly, I enjoyed more my stay here in Spain than in the US. But the saying goes “There’s no place like home,”. I agree. I shall return. Hasta luego.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts do not boast and lie against the truth. JAMES 3:14

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