THE EXAMPLE OF WHAT SHOULD BE
"To all those who have a hard time: I would never have imagined that I would be here, healthy." Those words were spoken by Virginia Torrecilla, Atlético de Madrid soccer player, after playing in the Super Cup final last weekend. The story behind the photo that heads this post is one of those that should be told many years from now as an example of self-improvement and sportsmanship. Virginia Torrecilla returned to a soccer field after overcoming a brain tumor, which kept her away from soccer practice for 683 days. At 27 years old, only she will know what it meant to face a situation like that, manage fear and uncertainty. Surely misunderstanding and anger at something as unfair as such a cruel disease, being so young. To overcome something like this, understanding that without science it would have been an impossible mission, the effort has had to be titanic. The mental strength that such a process requires explains many things about the character of the Mallorcan. Most likely, the discipline to which elite athletes are subjected has been a determining factor in their fight. But beyond the fundamental thing, which is the fact of continuing to live, what happened after the game has caught my attention. The F.C. Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid's rival, won 7-0, but curiously the final result remained an anecdote due to the behavior of the winners who, in an act that seemed improvised, lifted Torrecilla and began to keep her down.
Unfortunately, professional sports (and that is how I consider women's football, although the remuneration they receive may indicate otherwise) engulfs us in such a way that we lose the essence of what is important; and, curiously, what should not be news becomes something absolutely extraordinary. Despite this, it seems that sports behaviors sell few newspapers and engage fewer viewers; we like more the controversy, the conflict and the noise of the Chiringuito. Surely this does not cease to be the example of the polarized society in which we live. The behavior of the Barcelona players was outstanding to me, I think it should be on the front page of the newspapers, open the news and take that example to schools, since that should be the model that we should teach the adults of tomorrow. Compete, yes, fight to the end with everything, too, but without forgetting the essence of what sport means. In short, dignify the discipline that is practiced and feel proud of it. My usual optimism clashes head-on with reality, but I can't resist imagining a professional (and amateur) sport like the one the Barcelona players showed us. As in many other aspects of our day to day, we still have time to straighten the course. Meanwhile, health and enjoyment for Virginia Torrecilla, who is surely very clear about what is really important.