Marta Linares, coach of the Spanish rhythmic gymnastics team, will return to the Games 20 years later
In 2004 she achieved seventh place as a gymnast and the corresponding Olympic diploma.
From Athens 2004 to Paris 2024four Olympic Games through, Marta Linares will be present again at the sporting event most prestigious worldwide. 20 ago years, the Benicense achieved a creditable seventh position as a gymnast and obtained a diploma that she remembers with great affection. It’s been a long time, but she hasn’t lost her enthusiasm for a sport that is part of her life. And now, as a coach, she will close the circle and be at the Paris Games.
From signing his best movements, to teaching it to his students, who absorb all his talent. Alba Bautista and Polina Berezina are the two ‘heirs’who under the command of Marta, have fulfilled a dream, as their mentor explains: “It has been a success that fills us with happiness and pride because we have achieved two Olympic gymnastics places in individuals when it had not been achieved for 23 years.” , he expressed.
A goal that started three years ago, when the Federation decided to change the coaching staff: «There was a major change at the beginning of 2020 because in Tokyo neither the individual team nor the team qualified. At that time they opted for Alejandra Quereda as coach, Ana María Pelaz as senior coach and for me as the individual coach,” she explained about her arrival to the position.
A dream achieved in Valencia
Such a job completed the past mes August in Valencia, in a very special World Cup: «The atmosphere was spectacular, with all the families, and it was a unique experience to get the ticket for the Games,” he commented in a meeting in which Alba Bautista came eighth and Polina Berezina fourteenth. «For me it is a happiness to have achieved it as a gymnast in 2004 and now as a coach. In the end the Games are the Games,” she said with the bug even though there is still almost a year left.
As if that were not enough, Marta, Alejandra and María will become the first Spanish coaching staff to attend the Games as athletes and coaches. A sign that experience is always a degree: «We are beginning to prepare the season with the mentality of the Games, with changes in exercises and new ideas. We want to bring Spain to the highest,” he noted with a proud smile.
The goal… and empathy
Aware of the difficulty of getting medals, Marta advocates enjoying the journey and living a unique experience, with the aim of being able to earn a diploma, as she did in the Greek capital: «The objective was to qualify and we are going to go for a diploma or two. “The team has been bronze for two years and dreams of the medal.”
For her part, she emphasized empathy, to describe her role as a coach.: «I try to provide positive energy, the psychological part is very important and we put ourselves in their position, in a minute and a half you risk the work of many years», and insisted that the most beautiful and at the same time most rewarding thing is to deal with “your bad days” to bring out your best version. Marta, facing the challenge of the Paris games. h