Daniela García, with number 52, in the Spanish Indoor Athletics Championship DIARIO AS JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA / DIARIO AS
María Vicente and Daniela García are 19 years old and have a unique talent for athletics, class, it was said before, that they try to express themselves to the fullest and make it blossom, and for this they have abandoned their nest, their home and have gone to study a career, training and living far away, Vicente in a college in San Sebastián, where he arrived from his home in L’Hospitalet, and Daniela García in the Blume residence in Madrid, arriving from Calvià (Mallorca).
Both began to move a year ago, just as the pandemic began, and suffered from loneliness and isolation and nostalgia. They both got over it, and are happy in their destinies, and both say they have no regrets at all, which is the best they could have done. One, Vicente, stands out for his power, his jump, his speed; the other, Daniela, because of her way of running, which makes everyone fall in love. “He runs as if he were wearing skates,” says Jorge González Amo, the person responsible for the distance. “What fluidity, what elegance.” Both are the result of the growing harvest that the talent detection and monitoring plan, and of their coaches, of the Spanish federation. Both are called to be the best in the world.
And the coincidences end there, for now.
Vicente, a physical marvel, earned as a youth the consideration of star and burden, as a heavy backpack, with the consequent following, and covers in magazines. And his ambition is unique and absolute, and his way of expressing his disappointments and frustrations. Two days after breaking the Spanish record for pentathlon, in the nationals, he competes in length. His first jump is magnificent. Adjust the take and drop beyond 6.50m. White flag. Spanish sub-23 record and gold singing. And it would have been if the judges hadn’t ordered to erase the mark in the sand before measuring it. The mistake upsets her.
Daniela García has overcome many worse drinks, petite and all smiles, who at age 10 told her father that she doubted between dedicating herself to rugby, the sport that her father practiced and her brother, a Santboiana player, practices and in which she was the star at school, for her speed, or to ballet. He chose ballet, but shortly after he stopped by the Carlos Ruiz school, athletics coach, who put everyone on the track and told them to run. “Daniela came out and when she reached the end she turned around and saw that everyone was still running, boys and girls. His fate was sealed, ”says his father, Iñaki, anesthesiologist and defender of active life, going out for a run, to skate, to play sports with the whole family. “But the one who has all the credit that Daniela is still there, running, is her mother, apart from Daniela, of course.”
As a cadet, Daniela suffered a serious immune disorder that made her own immune system go against her body in the face of any virus, Epstein-barr or cytomegalovirus, for example. “It almost took her away,” explains her father. “She was in the ICU and they were about to intubate her. And it was two years that we thought athletics was over for her. But the girl said no. I went running once a week and within 10 minutes of running I was already tired, but I would come back the following week. She never left him, and her mother was the cornerstone. She instilled in Daniela that nothing was happening, that she couldn’t complain, that she had to move on.
He came back and amazed everyone. A week ago he won the 800m sub 23 national championship with a mark (2m 4.59s) that is the best in Spain and takes it directly to the Europeans in Torun (Poland). In the absolute nationals, she lost the gold in the last straight, surprised by the Guipuzcoan Lorea Ibarzabal. It made him feel bad, but in five minutes he was smiling. “The victory has escaped me,” says the athlete, who still does not think of Tokyo or gigantic goals and enjoys in Madrid in Antonio Serrano’s training group. “But I’m still happy even if I didn’t win. I live for the day. I seek to arrive at each competition with enthusiasm and to return home and feel good. That is being an athlete ”.