As underwater, thunderous music plays over the stadium’s public address system, Fernando Diaz del Rio (19, Las Palmas) lives in a world apart. The outside noise is muted and it’s just him and his music, through which he tries to express everything he can’t with words. From time to time he lifts his head out to catch his breath and show a wide smile, like a man living in a dream. This young Canarian made history today at the European Major Championships in Rome. Diaz del Rio won two silver medals in the freestyle and technique in the first event in men’s individual synchronized swimming. “I’m proud of my efforts now. “I still don’t know much about what this means,” said EL PAÍS. The dream is to reach the Olympic Games. Currently, men are not included in the Olympic program, so men cannot compete in synchro, although a special FINA Congress will be held on October 3 to receive it from the Paris 2024 Games. To get accepted in the Olympic Games and that’s my dream,” says the 19-year-old, with the whole race ahead of him.
His relationship with water began at an early age, with a small man-fish complex. “Every time we went to the beach on vacation, I was the first to go in and the last to go,” he says. But one of the most influential people in his life was his sister, who led him to a life of sports. “My mother always told me that I should do some sport when I was little, and I signed up for swimming because I love water. My sister signed up too, and she started practicing artistic swimming. I saw her and I liked what she did, I felt it was something precious. I started to imitate her and create moves in every swimming training. He slowly fell in love with the discipline, until his sister gave him the final push by practicing the exercises he saw him do. I have to.”
In his first rehearsal Friday, in his technical solo finale, Diaz del Rio performed the song. dream, by Aerosmith. “it is Pipe“I wanted to transfer power,” he said, scoring 79.4951 to earn him silver in the men’s swimming medal for Spain. This Sunday, in the free solo final, he began mimicking the moves of a werewolf in his main theme. Wolfby Danny Elfman. “It’s a risk, but I think you might like it,” he said before the final. The result boosted his score (83.3333 points) and a new silver medal. They liked it.
Unable to hide his smile, Diaz del Rio proudly points out that artistic swimming is his expression. “I feel free to imagine things that I can’t express in my body, in the water, in how I speak. Take hold of your inner feelings and let them out. I wanted to convey strength and courage,” he reflects. For this young medalist, the inner world of each person is the most important thing, which is why he studies psychology while training in swimming pools. “I love psychology. I’ve always been fascinated by things related to how the human mind works. Also, in running I have the opportunity to combine studies with training very well,” he explains.
Although he occasionally competes in duet mode, his preference is to go it alone. “Swimming with company is a great feeling, it makes you one with what you’re swimming in, but I think I can capture my emotions better by doing this. You swim for the judges but also for yourself to express yourself.”
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