PyeongChang 2018: the historic success of Regino Hernández who gave Spain his first medal in the Winter Olympics in 25 years

PyeongChang 2018: the historic success of Regino Hernández who gave Spain his first medal in the Winter Olympics in 25 years


The color is the least of it, because the important thing about the historic bronze medal achieved by Regino Hernández in PyeongChang’s men’s cross-country snowboard is that he broke a 26-year drought.

That was the time that had elapsed since the last time Spain won a medal in the Winter Olympics.

And the most surprising thing is that Hernández, who was born 26 years ago in Ceuta and grew up on the Costa del Sol, is only the third Spanish prize in history.

A number that contrasts with the abundance of successes that Spanish sport has experienced in the 21st century.

Competitors in the final of snowboard cross
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Image caption The test was won by the big favorite, the Frenchman Pierre Vaultier (in red), while the Australian Jarryd Hughes (white) won the silver ahead of Hernandez (green).

At the brilliant moment of his football , both national teams and clubs, Spain has also been one of the main players in tennis with Rafael Nadal and in motor racingwith Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

He has also shone in basketball with the brothers Paul and Marc Gasol, as well as in swimming , with Mireia Belmonte.

And no longer say in cycling , led by Alberto Contador, or in MotoGP with Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

It does not matter if it’s bronze, silver or gold. It’s an Olympic medal.

To that athletes are added in a variety of sports and disciplines such as triathlonbadmintonboatinghockey on wheels and many other disciplines.

Francisco Fernández Ochoa
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Image caption “Paquito” has been the only Spanish gold medalist in the winter games to win the slalom test in 1972.

But those successes have not appeared in winter sports, despite being a country that has first class facilities in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees and that, given his record in other sports, you might think you have the necessary resources to achieve better figurations on snow or ice.

That is why it is striking that until the bronze achieved on Thursday by Hernandez, Spain only counted in his locker with the medals won by the Fernández Ochoa brothers in alpine skiing, the gold of Francisco “Paquito” in Sapporo 1972 and the bronze of Blanca in Albertville 1992.


Spain counted that in PyeongChang was going to break with the drought that had extended during more than a quarter of century, but few counted that Hernández was the one in charge to return to hoist the Spanish flag in an Olympic podium.

Regino Hernández
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Image caption Hernández took advantage of his past in freestyle snowboarding in a circuit where big jumps prevailed.

The clearest options fell on the artistic skater Javier Fernandez, who will be in action this Friday, and the standard-bearer of the delegation and teammate of Hernandez on the cross-country snowboard team, Lucas Eguibar.

The runner-up world, nevertheless, could not overcome the round of eighth of end and yielded all the responsibility in Hernandez, that took advantage of the experience of being participating in his third Olympic Games , and of his past in the modality of freestyle, to be surpassing a to one the rounds until to be planted in the great Olympic final.

Regino Hernández
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Image caption Hernandez made his Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010 where he could not overcome the knockout stages, while four years ago in Sochi he reached the quarterfinals.

There he also managed to survive the fall of three of his opponents and on a one-on-one with France’s Pierre Vaultier (gold) and Australia’s Jarryd Hughes (silver) was just a few centimeters from second place.

“It’s been an incredible day, I’m happier I can not be, no matter if it’s bronze, silver or gold, it’s an Olympic medal ,” Hernandez told the media after crossing the finish line at Phoenix Park.

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