BarcelonaThe tourists, with their phones, got tired of photographing the facade of the Barcelona City Hall, where at 10 o’clock at night a show started with projections of images reminiscent of the 1992 Olympic Games. Some without having very clear that that building is the City Hall. Others, well informed with their guide, yes. But everyone knew perfectly well that Barcelona was Olympic. In fact, many people put the Catalan capital on the map that summer of 1992, when the city was a party. “It was. I missed the inauguration because I was training, but I didn’t miss the days after winning the medal”, recalled the athlete Fermín Cacho at the celebration and official reception on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Olympic Games and Paralympics in the Saló de Cent de la Ajuntament. The start of the proceedings.
The athlete from Soria, champion of the 1,500 meters, became one of the first heroes of that Olympic summer by winning the first gold medal for Spain, although few people knew that, being the last to arrive , his first impression of the Games was not very good. “In the Vila Olímpica they gave me the worst room, the one facing the air conditioning machines, which made a lot of noise. Luckily, as I was used to traveling by public transport, I was able to sleep like a log”, he joked at the event, chaired by journalist Olga Viza. Once he won the gold, everything changed. Barcelona has been so united to its destiny that Cacho accepts the questions in Catalan, despite not having lived here. He comes back whenever he can.
A soundtrack that still excites
Barcelona, which will follow the events celebrating the Olympic event this Friday with the opening of an exhibition at Montjuïc Castle, was excited again yesterday in an event in which the soundtrack of that summer was not missing with theFriends forever of the Manolos or the Barcelona by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury. No matter how cold or critical you are, something stirs inside you when these songs play, performed on this occasion by current singers such as Beth, Jofre Bardagí or Manu Guix, who are in charge of filling the City Hall with music. An ideal place to remember the past, since few people know that the Olympic dream began there in the distant summer of 1979, when the then mayor Narcís Serra received through the back door of the City Hall Juan Antonio Samaranch, then ambassador Spanish in Moscow, who aspired to be president of the International Olympic Committee. Serra received him secretly because of the Francoist past of a Samaranch that was then frowned upon. Years later he entered through the main door, becoming one of the architects of a Games that continue to bring a smile to almost all the people who experienced them. “I was very young and I won the silver. It was like living in a dream. Over time I have appreciated even more what it meant to organize the Games and to do it so well”, said sailor Natalia Vía-Dufresne. The event had the parliament of different authorities, such as the mayoress, Ada Colau; the first lieutenant of the mayor’s office, Jaume Collboni; the general secretary of the Spanish Paralympic Committee, Miguel Segarra; the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco; the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, and Pere Aragonès, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia. All of them, until recently, came together a lot to get Barcelona to be Olympic again by organizing the Winter Olympic Games in 2030. But this time the adventure has not ended as well as that summer one. Despite their political differences, they all share the same vision: the 1992 Barcelona Games were a good time that changed the mentality of a city that previously had many problems. Now too, but some are the result of the success after that summer of 1992, when millions of people, halfway around the world, decided that it was worth visiting the Catalan capital.
One of the most applauded names at the event, as it could not be otherwise, was that of Pasqual Maragall. Everyone remembers where he was in 1986 when the mayor jumped for joy, wearing his raincoat, after Samaranch announced that Barcelona could host the Games. That was the beginning of an adventure that caused a sweet nostalgia. The projections on the facade of the Town Hall will also take place this weekend, at three times: at 10.15 p.m., at 10.30 p.m. and at 10.45 p.m.