Zapata is already at the top: silver on the ground

The 28-year-old gymnast lives his best after nailing the difficult movement that bears his name

Ray Zapata, during the floor final.EFE

First of all, a pirouette and a half. And then the flight: a double somersault forward while doing a turn and a half on his own body. Dizziness Crazy. A movement that has his name, the ‘Zapata I’ – and even a new evolution, the ‘Zapata II’ – and that this Sunday allowed him to hang the silver in the floor final of the Tokyo Games. I nailed it on the first diagonal and the rest of the drill was rolled. At 28, Rayderley Zapata is already at the top.

At the end he celebrated, a shout, a fist in the air, then the two of them, a hug with his coach Francisco Siscar, because he knew he had it, that in a few minutes he would live the happiest moment of his life. The second of eight had come out and it was time to wait, wait a long time, but he had already done it. “Buh!”, Are minutes later in the stands of the Ariake Gymnastics Center when Zapata’s note came out on the scoreboards and the technicians of the Spanish team, present in the stands, considered that it was insufficient. That did not remove the smile from the gymnast’s face. Aware that, although a few tenths could be missing, his medal options were intact, he sent a kiss to the stands and showed his recipient: ‘Olympia’ could be read on a shirt, his daughter, who was born in two months.

Then he held the tension for about 10 minutes, but eventually he collapsed. Israel’s Artem Dolgopyat beat him with the same score – and greater difficulty – and that made him spin around and around until he sat down. And I cried. The nerves, the tension, the waiting. Zapata cried while another favorite, the Korean Ryu Sung-hyun and the Chinese Ruoteng Xiao, did not surpass him and he already saw himself with silver, the medal that elevates his career.