SARA HURTADO, ICE DANCER

"I did not find skating: skating found me"

#sport #women #gender equality

Sara Hurtado was one half of the first pair to represent Spain in ice skating at the Olympic Games. In 2018, she won a silver medal at the Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix event with her partner, Kirill Khaliavin, something that until then only Javier Fernández had achieved for our country. The seven-time Spanish champion has always had to live abroad due to the lack of coaches in her own country. Although she laments still not being able to make a living from skating, her efforts are made worthwhile by the fact that she is able to follow her dream.

SARA HURTADO TELLS HER STORY

Sara Hurtado, ice dancer and seven-time Spanish champion: "I did not find skating, it was skating who found me. The feeling you have when gliding across the ice and picking up speed, feeling the cold air on your face... The truth is that I fell in love with it."

Pilar Martín, Sara Hurtado's mother: "I always say that Sara is, above all, very brave... Oh, I get so emotional!"

Pili González, Sara Hurtado's grandmother: "She's very committed. She never complains about what she has chosen to do and is always grateful for everything we can help her with, either by encouraging her or in any other way."

Sara Hurtado: "Being away from family and friends is the real sacrifice made by any athlete who has to leave home. You cannot get back that time."

Iván Sáez, Sara Hurtado's first coach: "Sara has got to where she is by determination and soul. She puts her heart into her skating."

Pilar Martín: It touches your heart to say: 'I would love to float, to flow like that, to be able to interpret music with such passion in such a short period of time'."

Sara Hurtado: "I'm in Moscow as a tourist at the moment, so every three months I have to return to Spain, to renew my visa — although it's not too bad, because I get to see my family — and then I return to Moscow. It's really hard."

Pilar Martín: "The financial sacrifice is enormous, as we are a completely ordinary family."

Sara Hurtado: "Survive, I survive, but I still need their help. I mean, I'm not independent. I'm always on tenterhooks each month to see whether I have to ask for money or not. It's a pressure that, without realizing it, I have put on them simply because I fell in love with this sport."

Pilar Martín: "My most heartfelt tears are caused by the frustration of not being able to give a little bit more."

Sara Hurtado: "On a sporting level, the Olympic medal is the best. But in reality, what matters is what is happening now, which is that I can spend my life skating. And it's a dream."