Sports We're Great At
It’s normal to find a headline about Rafa Nadal and his strength as a tennis player, Lorenzo’s latest motoGP racing win, or (a given) how Spanish soccer has the greatest league in the world.
But these are not the only sports in which Spaniards stand out. There are a lot of others that may be less well-known, but for which Spain’s achievements increasingly catch the attention of potential sports fans.
The most recent is badminton. The Spaniard Carolina Marín didn’t just win the world championship, she won it for the second time, confirming her spot as champion. A purely Asian sport, intense and more demanding of fast reflexes than tennis, badminton is complex and not very popular in Spain. However, Marín has shown an innate talent for dominating the sport.
Golf may seem like a sport that’s exclusive to rich people from the US, but the reality in the rest of the world is quite different. In fact, in Spain, there are a number of golf courses and it is hard to find a city with tourist attractions that doesn’t include a hotel with golf courses close by.
Among the most well known golfers, Sergio García stands out. Though he is far from where he would like to be right now, he has gotten to be one of the best in the world and continues to rank among the top 10.
Water polo has more followers and players in Spain than you might think. Both men’s and women’s Spanish teams have achieved success without precedent, an example of which is the men’s win at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. They are always among the top 10 teams in competitions and they are not easily beaten. In 2013 the women’s team won the world championship again and they continue to compete among the best.
Synchronized swimming, a mix of dance, swimming and gymnastics, is one of the most difficult to master and demanding sports out there. In Spain, the women’s team has achieved incredible success, more than anything because of their captain, Ona Carbonell. Currently, the renewal of the team has allowed them to reach 5th place, although the objective is much more ambitious. The current objective is to win the most medals and to gain the most experience possible so that they will be at their best at the Olympic Games in Río in 2016.