"The appointment of Barcelona is special"

Cristian González

7 November, 2010

Natàlia Rodríguez is the athlete of the moment and has become one of the hopes of Spanish athletics in the European Athletics Championships to be held in Barcelona from 27 from July to August 1. The Tarragona rider starts off as one of the favorites in his specialty, the 1.500 meters, after having won the silver medal in the Qatar World Championship last January.

Natàlia Rodríguez (Tarragona, 1979) receives us at the headquarters of the Olympic Museum of Catalonia coinciding with the presentation ceremony of the new equipment of the Spanish athletics team. The Tarragonina has started 2010 with strength and has between eyebrow and eyebrow the longed for gold medal in the next European of Barcelona. That is why he has followed very demanding physical preparation at the foot of the letter, which he must leave in optimal conditions to face this so special challenge.

How do you prepare for the European Athletics Championships?
In principle very well. I rested for a week after taking part in the World Championship on the indoor track held in Doha. Then I started to run, carrying more and more, and now I'm finishing the preseason. At the moment everything goes very well.

The fact that they are in Barcelona must be very special for you ...
Obviously, from the psychological point of view you always have a plus of motivation if you compete in front of your people. Knowing that you will be close to your heat is very important when competing.

What will be the rivals to beat?
Fortunately, Ethiopian athletes will not participate, but there will be Russian and English racers Lisa Dobriskey. Apart from these favorites there are also the Poles, who are also very strong.

How did you overcome the disappointment of the past World Cup in Berlin when you finished first but were disqualified because the organizers found that you had dropped Ethiopian Gelete Burka?
Well Everything is forgotten. In that sense, the indoor World Cup held in Doha served me to meet again with Gelete Burka. We talked distantly about what had happened in Berlin during the race.

Like your coach, are you also disappointed by the attitude of the leaders of the Spanish Federation in Berlin after disqualification?
I have to say that, from the beginning, from the Spanish Athletics Federation they let me know that they would give me support and, therefore, I was pretty quiet. The Federation usually fulfills its word.

What do you think about the proposal presented by the Federation in which you want to buy a ticket to all people who want to race?
Honestly, I think that another solution should be sought. It should be noted that athletics is a very minor sport and that participation in competitions, whether popular or federated, should always be encouraged. For this reason another alternative should be sought because, if not, participation figures could be harmed.

Does Spanish athletes get enough state aid to compete on equal terms with other countries?
The model works if you are an athlete who performs at a very high level and you are able to maintain a long time. Now, things change if you are not the best. In this sense, if we compare athletics with the money that moves football, then there is a difference.

What would you improve on this topic?
I think that helping athletes in the background should be improved. Here the best ones are helped, but then there is a gap in regard to runners who come to the back. We need to work more in this regard because if you are not a number one it is very difficult to live out of athletics. Another aspect that I would like to propose is that all athletes are registered with the Social Security, and this is not yet done. I discovered it when I was a mother and I had to register as a freelance and then process my maternity leave.

What is missing from athletics in this country to be among the biggest?
People must be aware that the level of demand that we find from a European to a world is very different. When you compete against rivals around the planet you realize that there is much more competitiveness. That is why there is so much difference between the results that we get in Europeans and those we achieve in some global ones. The results in the Europeans generate expectations with a view to the world-wide ones that sometimes are not absolutely realistic. We need to be more realistic.

What do you have about the case of South African Caster Semenya?
In general I think they had a very cruel treatment with this athlete. If there was no certainty that he could be a man, no accusation should have been made.

Is it good for athletics that Ussain Bolt has become a mass phenomenon?
Totally, yes

Do you like shows that ride or you find them exaggerated?
I think it's a good way to draw the attention of the general public and make many people stick to follow athletics. Maybe it's a bit sudden that in the middle of competition there is someone capable to offer such a show because you are very concentrated, but it's worth saying that Usain Bolt serves you.

Do you feel that it's harder for children to ever do athletics in Spain? What could be done to reverse this trend?
I think that schools should encourage children and young people to practice athletics. The task is to start it from very young, which is when the nanos are eager to move and do physical activity. It would be necessary to do a follow-up task since later, when more difficult categories are reached, the level of demand is stronger.

And what do you think about the increasing participation of popular races in our country?
Regardless of the fact that it is a fad that can be a passenger, I see it very well. It seems great to me that there are people who bet on going to run, as long as it does not become an obsession.

Barcelona is a sports benchmark?
If. This is my perception. He thinks that the 1992 Olympic Games have greatly influenced. There is a set of facilities and circumstances that encourage citizens of Barcelona to practice more sport than in other areas.

How do you look after the Europeans?
Next year, there will be a World Cup in the open air, and after the great disappointment last year I would like to take this spin on me. I would like to get to the final and fight for a podium place.

Many said that after being a mother she did not do the same, and it turns out that you are doing great results ...
Many people thought this. Even people close to me thought they would not have the same level, but it is normal. Maternity is a very personal and unknown thing, because there are really few athletes who have continued to compete at a high level after being mothers.

Have you noticed any changes?
I have not physically noticed anything, but it is true that mentally it ripen a lot more. You have ideas clearer and you know exactly what you want.

Is it difficult to be an elite and mother athlete?
It is very important to keep your head cold and know what you want. Also, in my case, I have a lot of family support, and my daughter sleeps very well at night. I'm lucky, it's very quiet.

Would you like your daughter to be an athlete?
Of course I would like it. But for me the most important thing is that my daughter is happy with what she does. Whatever it is.

When you do not do athletics, what other hobbies do you have?
Especially resting (river). I usually walk and go with my daughter in the park.

What are you planning to do in the future?
I do not know about it yet, but I would like to continue to be linked to this sport, be it for children and young people or doing any other work.

Very personal questions

A city to live? Tarragona
A place to go on a trip? The north of Spain
A plate tapes
A book to read? The perfume by Patrick Süskind
A movie movie? Apocalypto
A means to be informed? Press
Sea or mountain? Sea
A singer or musical group? Aerosmith
What historical character would you like to know? Teresa of Calcutta
A current character? Pocholo
A sportsman who admires Rafa Nadal
What values ​​more people? Sincerity
If one day you were president of the government or the UN, what first decision would you take? Help the most disadvantaged
Straight or Left? Okay in the middle
What do you think of a desert island? A MP3
A confessable desire? Enjoy life

the author

Cristian González

Graduate in Journalism (UPF), Graduate in Contemporary History (UB), Master in Business Communication Specialization in Digital Technologies (UPF).

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