Spanish swimmer sacrifices race to honour Barcelona terror attack victims

Fernando Alvarez remains on the starting blocks for his own minute's silence 

Fernando Alvarez remains on the starting blocks for his own minute's silence 

After the gun went off during his event, the 200M breaststroke, Alvarez stood at his starting block for 60 long seconds.

Fourteen people were killed and 130 were injured on Thursday when a van deliberately slammed into the crowd on Barcelona's most popular street, Las Ramblas.

Spanish swimmer Fernando Alvarez sacrificed his race in the World Masters Swimming Championships in order to hold his own minute of silence to honour the victims of last week's terror attacks in Barcelona.

It has been reported that Alvarez had requested a minute's silence to be observed before the race but the authorities did not pay any heed to it. As the rest of the competitors took to the water, Alvarez did not. "But I do not care, I was feeling it more than if I won all the gold in the world".

"They told me that it was not possible [to have minute's silence] because not a minute could be wasted", Alvarez told local media after the race. "But because of the distance and because I have family there, the truth is I believe that [tribute] would have been a great detail".

Álvarez finished so far behind that he wasn't given an official time.

"Everyone at this club feels very proud of him, we want to congratulate him for being a great person".

Writing on Facebook, Mr Alvarez's swimming club said they were overwhelmed by the attention that the post had received.

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