Xammar and Rodrguez, bronze in 470: the medal that the Odontologist missed

Rodriguez was working in Austria as a dentist when Xammar called him to travel to Tokyo: they are already Olympic medalists.

Xammar and Rodríguez, in full regatta, this Wednesday.IVAN ALVARADOREUTERS
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Nico Rodriguez He had just graduated from Dentistry in Austria and was planning to spend several years there saving money to return to Vigo and start his own clinic when he received a call. “I thought, And this one?” this was Jordi Xammar, which offered him a completely different life project: he wanted him to be his new crew member in 470 and for them to reach the Tokyo Games together. Rodriguez did not hesitate.

Although their characters are contrary, since Rodríguez is very calm and Xammar is a whirlwind, he knew that as a couple they could achieve everything and that’s how it was, and that’s how it is. Since they joined, back in 2016, they have not left the podium and, after successes in the last three World Cups and the last three Europeans, this Wednesday the most brilliant medal arrived: the Olympic bronze, the climax of their journey.

Before the regatta, both of them walked through Enoshima with their heads down, living with the pressure. The day before, in a situation very similar to their own, the two Spanish 49ers had lost the medal in the medal race, the decisive regatta, the one that doubled, and the precedents weighed on them. Tension on the south coast of Japan was high.

Checkered celebration

“We have slept well, we are well,” Xammar reassured, usually chatty like few others, this time before getting on the boat he only wanted silence. Start third, with five points over two pairs – New Zealanders Paul Snow-Hansen Y Dan Willcox and the british Luke patience Y Chris grube–so calming down was a must.

And, apparently in the water, they calmed down. At the start, Xammar and Rodríguez were first, a position they held until the first buoy, and although they suffered from the stern, the medals were always on their necks. The New Zealand couple managed to place third and they had to finish fifth. They did it.

As they crossed the finish line, they both released all their tension by hitting their boat and, so excited were they, that in the end they ended up turning it around. On the hull, upside down, they celebrated under the applause of the Spanish technicians present in a nearby dock and in the end they ended up in the water hugging each other. Will ryan Y Mathew belcher, the Australians, who won the gold.