Spanish swimmer remains on starting block after tribute to Barcelona victims rejected

Spanish swimmer remains on starting block after tribute to Barcelona victims rejected
A Spanish swimmer paid tribute to the victims of the last week’s Barcelona attack by remaining on the starting block of his race for one minute after it commenced. Fernando Álvarez claims his earlier request for a minute’s silence was rejected.

"I went to the director of the competition... but I was told that it was not possible because we could not lose a minute," Álvarez told El Espanol. The swimmer was taking part in the 200 meter breaststroke final at the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest on Saturday.

Video of the event posted to his swimming club’s Facebook pages shows Álvarez standing on the starting block as the other competitors start the race.

"In life you have to hold values above everything else," it said on its Facebook page, adding “it is a great example for our swimmers.”

The organization behind the race, FINA, has received comments praising Álvarez and criticizing them appear on its Facebook page.

“Mr. Alvarez deserves a gold medal for recognising the terrible events in Barcelona in the way he did. He puts FINA to shame,” one commenter said, with another describing its decision not to hold a minute’s silence as “absurd.”

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