Daida Ruano, 18-time windsurfing world champion, stars in the charity documentary ‘Daida, Back to the Ocean’
Directed by Pablo Ramírez, it tells the story of the athlete’s fight against ovarian cancer
Gran Canarian Daida Ruano is a sports legend after winning 18 windsurfing world championships. It is said soon. Almost twenty recognitions for being a leader and having the world at her feet. Nobody had achieved it before. This islander, the greatest sporting exquisiteness born from the sun, the sea, the wind and the waves of Pozo Izquierdo along with her inseparable twin sister Iballa, suddenly suffered a stoppage in her life. Something that revolutionizes everything. It was called cancer, in her case ovarian cancer. She never imagined it. With just over thirty years old and her career in full swing, she was suddenly faced with a harsh reality that became a nightmare. Everything is captured in the documentary Daida, Back to the Ocean, (Daida, returns to the ocean in Spanish). Daida, the first-person protagonist of the film, confesses that after passing through the illness he has had “a happy ending for two fundamental reasons.”
All these experiences are captured in this film by the film director and personal friend of Ruano Pablo Ramírez, also from Pozo Izquierdo. Last Sunday, the film was shown at the National Film Academy in Madrid, in a preselection in which it competed with seven other documentaries and which will have its resolution in November, when it will be known if it is a candidate for the Goya.
Back to the Ocean recounts in 25 minutes four years of recordings of Ruano’s life, from when he began the sport of windsurfing, his meteoric and long-lasting career, and then, the hardship after learning that he had ovarian cancer. The entire process was even filmed during his chemotherapy treatments. And also, later, after overcoming it. It ends with Daida’s true “happy ending.” Now, the elite athlete only wants the documentary to be an example and for her to achieve everyone’s solidarity to combat this scourge.
«I got the cutting-edge,” he said, when he was informed that the documentary in which he stars had been preselected to compete for the highest award granted by the Spanish Film Academy. Not only for the award itself, but for its possible impact. “I don’t want to give spoilers,” the happy champion commented this week. She apologized for not revealing some important episodes for her that are reflected in the film. She is modest even to acknowledge that the short Daida, Back to the Ocean has already been presented at 34 film festivals around the world and has won seven awards. Several of them, the first, like the one at the Malaga Film Festival, which awarded gold in the documentary category for Women’s Rights. And there is half a year left of tours of other festivals.
SIMPLE AND GOOD PERSON
Simplicity and the feeling of a good person is what this world legend conveys when she relates that the most difficult part of the entire recording process, which began with films made by Pablo of her and her sister Iballa before her illness, “was having to remember it.” ». She refers to the entire slow pace since she was told that she has ovarian cancer and the path she took to combat a nightmare in an athlete’s body.
With her professional background flying among the waves, a Daida today busy between stretchers in her physiotherapy center, speaks with humility and recognition of all the people who have suffered or suffer from this disease. “This documentary only aims to let everyone in general know what it means to go through a disease like this.” Therefore, it intends that the more visibility it has, «There will be more human awareness of everything that is happening with this terrible disease. Now Daida Ruano, almost unintentionally, also becomes world champion, but her goal is resolved in other issues.
Born in 1977, since she was a child and with her twin sister Iballa, they formed the perfect tandem that went on to revolutionize the history of the sport of windsurfing in the Canary Islands, elevating the coastal town of Pozo Izquierdo, previously only known for being a wasteland and too windy area. , to the highest category of the sport and world epicenter of this type of sailing. Only they and their predecessor, Dünkerbekc, shouted to the organizers of the world wind circuit until they achieved it.
All proceeds from the production directed by his childhood friend Pablo Rodríguez are for charitable purposes.
The film was shot with professionals, about 40, but who collaborated altruistically.
GIVE VOICE TO THE DISEASE
Daida, Back to the Ocean seeks to give voice to the disease, raise awareness and donate the proceeds to the Spanish Association Against Cancer. Daida, always supported by her family and her friends, has also been supported by the director of the short, Ramírez, who coincidentally and sadly, experienced this illness in parallel with Daida in her family when it was detected in her mother. her. She was also diagnosed with a tumor that unfortunately expanded and did not survive.
“Who in their family or close friends has not suffered something like this?” asks Pablo Ramírez, who recognizes the generous work “of cameras, sound technicians, makeup artists… they all did it altruistically.”
He explains that “what has already been raised from the prizes won has helped us pay for the trips we make to festivals. And what is left over is donated. Nobody earns anything financially here. The goal is greater promotion so that the documentary, like, Daida agrees, be part of a television platform to give you more visibility. They are not looking for publicity, “just to raise awareness and for the funds to go to the cancer association,” she reiterates.
Ramírez began “almost as a child in the world of aquatic photography and film, as well as windsurfing.” That made him friends with the twins from a young age and gave him the opportunity to record from a young age the filigrees that his friends Daida and Iballa were already making on the board. They were flying, literally.
WITHDRAWN LAST JULY
Ruano returned to competition after her cancer, which she fought between 2011 and 2012. At this stage, the champion alternated her chemotherapy sessions with windsurfing, a sport that was her alternative therapy. The following year and already recovered, she returned to international competition until she retired in July of this year 2023. A farewell to the world of competition that closed in style, winning her last prize that once again elevated her as world champion. Her victory made her 18th in her world record and, of course, she achieved it in Pozo Izquierdo. “Now I want to be happy,” she said as she said goodbye to her.
Of the two reasons that have given her happiness, Daida only reveals one: overcoming cancer.
The second, says naughty and avoiding spoilers, “let them see it in the documentary.” And she smiles again with a gesture of that: happiness.