First Spanish athlete to win Olympic medal dies aged 68

Jordi Llopart, the first Spanish athlete to win an Olympic medal has died aged 68.

The pioneering sportsman’s family told the Spanish Athletics Federation he passed away after failing to overcome a heart attack that left him in an irreversible coma.

The Federation said in a statement, the Olympic runner-up in Moscow 1980 and 50 km European champion in 1978, died today, Wednesday, November 11, at the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in Badalona.

His family said they were grateful for “the support and the expressions of affection received by the entire world of athletics and sports in general”.

Llopart was a groundbreaker in athletics and walking in Spain, managing to lift five Olympic medals, one gold, and 17 in the world, including three golds.

After his retirement, he began training other athletes such as Daniel Plaza, who achieved gold in the 20 km in Barcelona 1992.

President of the Spanish Athletics Federation, Raúl Chapado, stressed that Llopart was “one of those athletes who illuminated the future in the dark, he showed us with his Olympic medal that Spanish athletics could be great”.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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