Fernando Alvarez stands on the starting blocks in tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Spain.
Fernando Alvarez stands on the starting blocks in tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Spain. YouTube

Swimmer ruins race hopes to pay tribute to terror victims

IT'S not often you see an athlete voluntarily thwart their chance at snagging a podium spot in a championship event.

But professional swimmer Fernando Alvarez had much more than winning on his mind as he walked to the starting block at the FINA Masters World Championships in Budapest on Sunday (AEST).

Swimswam.com revealed the Spaniard requested officials to conduct a minute's silence before the race to honour the victims of last week's terrorist attack in Barcelona. The multi-event star strangely had his request denied after reportedly being told the event "couldn't spare a minute".

But Alvarez had other ideas, opting to conduct the tribute on his own and forfeit a potential win. As his opponents dived into the water to begin the 200m breaststroke event, Alvarez stayed put, floating on the lane divider for 60 seconds before competing.

 

Barcelona terror attacker shot dead: The 22-year-old Moroccan was wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt and shouting "Allahu Akbar".
Barcelona terror attacker shot dead: The 22-year-old Moroccan was wearing what appeared to be an explosive belt and shouting "Allahu Akbar".

His time wasn't recorded by officials, but Alvarez said he wasn't bothered in the slightest.

"I started a minute late," he told Spanish media. "But that doesn't matter. What I was feeling was more than if I had won all of the gold medals in the world."