dimarts, 24 de maig de 2011

Sports and Catalan Teams

In the last years of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century, the practice of sports in Catalonia experimented a huge growth as they were associated to the strong network of associations for culture, education, science and community life, all closely related to Catalanism and its ideology against discrimination. Sports were seen as an opportunity for people of different social classes and origins to create bounds of friendship.

The International Olympic Committee never recognized the Catalan Olympic Committee, but awarded Catalonia with the Olympic Cup for its merits in the promotion of sports.
After that, Spain created an Olympic Committee that was recognized by the IOC and that forced the Catalans to participate in Spanish national teams.

The different Catalan sports federations cofounded many international federations, but in 1938 the Spanish dictator Franco forbid any Catalan national team in his effort to exterminate any sign of the Catalan culture and national identity.

Despite the massive support of Catalans for the Catalan sports federations to compete in all official international championships, the Spanish government keeps trying to ban them in all international federations –even those cofounded by Catalonia– using all kind of methods including diplomatic menace and coercion, as some national managers from South America publicly denounced and was obvious after the expulsion of the Catalans from the International Roller Sports Federation after they competed for first time in the Word Cup B –and won.

Catalonia would be ranked 9th in the list of countries by medals per capita.

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