Javier Fernández, the Spanish figure skater who won bronze at the Olympic Games in PyeongChang on Saturday, said it had been “important” for him to come away with a medal because these might be his last games.
The 26-year-old from Madrid also said that the win takes away the “thorn in my side” ever since he placed fourth at the Sochi Games in 2014.
Even though it was not a gold medal, it feels that way to me
“These are things that we have to talk over and analyze, but I don’t think I’ll go back to the Olympic Games because by then I’d be 30, and at that age, in figure skating, I’d be a grandpa,” he said in statements to TV network Eurosport.
“It was important to win a medal here. It was the dream I’d had since the moment I realized that I could do this, but until today I hadn’t managed it,” added Fernández. “I’m super satisfied not just about the medal, but about the work we’ve done and how we have fought for this, because the Olympics are never easy.”
“We are happy and proud. Even though it wasn’t a gold medal, it was an Olympic medal, which was our dream.”
After noting that this is the first ever Olympic medal in figure skating for Spain, Fernández said that even though the medal is neither gold nor silver, “it feels that way to me. All the work we did has paid off to realize a dream. A weight has been lifted.”
Fernández executed a clean free skate program to earn 197.66 points, which, together with his score on the short program, left him just 1.66 points below Japan’s Shoma Uno, who took home silver. Another Japanese skater, Yuzuru Hany – who is Fernández’s training partner in Toronto – earned gold, becoming the first man to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in singles figure skating since the American skater Dick Button managed the feat in 1948 and 1952.
Fernández’s victory brings the second medal for Spain in these Olympic Games following Regino Hernández’s win in snowboard cross.
English version by Susana Urra.