Spanish basketball players honoured in Madrid

Presentation to Laia Palau Credit: La Moncloa/Fernando Calvoa

The unexpected silver medal collected by the Spanish men’s basketball team in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games undoubtedly promoted the sport in Spain.

Honoured 40 years on

Despite the fact that Russia and Hungary withdrew from the event in a tit for tat response to the USA boycott of Moscow 1980, the previous Gold Medal winners Yugoslavia did take part as did the USA which went on to take Gold.

Spain beat Yugoslavia in the semi finals but were, in turn well beaten by the USA but this shouldn’t take away any of the glory of that team.

On May 31, the surviving members of the team and relatives of those who have died were invited to La Moncloa in Madrid to receive the Gold Plate of the Royal Order of Sports Merit from Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in honour of their achievement 40 years ago.

Also invited and presented with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sports Merit was female basketball player Laia Palau who is credited with fighting to see women’s basketball recognised here in Spain.

In his speech, Pedro Sánchez said “we honour two relevant sporting careers”, one individual and the other collective, “that have marked the history of Spanish sport”, but, “above all” “great people, bearers of extraordinary values.”

Fighting machismo

He also spent some time praising the persistence of Laia Palau in fighting against the “the machismo that, unfortunately, still exists in our society.”

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page