A little over two months ago, Alberto Ginés touched the sports heaven at 18 years old. The climber won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and it made a whole country look at a sport it had never noticed before: climbing.
After the Olympic Games, the reality is different. Alberto Ginés tells SER Deportivos the hidden face of this sport, with little support and few infrastructures in Spain. The Extremaduran reveals that he trained in Austria for the Tokyo Olympic Games and that he is considering going to live outside of Spain due to the lack of means to train in conditions for Paris 2024.
How are you, have you already assumed the Olympic gold?
I already have it quite assumed, I already played before or after (laughs). There are things that still overwhelm me or surprise me a bit, but generally fine.
Has your life changed?
Very much. I think that in every way, both professionally, due to scholarships, grants, sponsors, etc., as well as media impact, which has been crazy.
Is there a before and after an Olympic medal?
Definitely. I did not imagine how much. I knew that obviously something had to change you, I think that winning an Olympic gold is everything an athlete can aspire to, but I didn’t know that it could change your life at this level.
Let’s see if it also changes it when it comes to being able to train ‘as God intended’ in Spain, right?
It is what we are trying, I think it is our next big challenge. Not just me, but all the kids that come after, that we have a decent place to train in Spain, to be able to prepare for competitions. It is hard to believe that the federation’s budgets have been cut in the Olympic year and that because of that many young people have not been able to go to youth competitions, I honestly believe that it is a bitch.
All these years you have had to move within and especially outside of Spain to be able to train to be in some Games and in the end get a medal, but the road may be harder for you than in other sports, right?
Yes. I know what it took me to get to where I am and my family and my coach know it. The world really doesn’t care. That you have competed with fewer resources, the competition does not care.
In the medium long term, already thinking about Paris, will you have to continue going to Navarre and especially outside of Spain?
For Paris, if we don’t get a proper climbing wall to prepare for the Games, I think we will have to make the decision to go live outside of Spain.
Are you considering going to live outside of Spain?
I’ve been thinking about it for years. Maybe it will come and maybe we can make a change and we can train properly. I don’t live abroad, but before Tokyo I spent four months training in Austria, it is the reality that we have to live.
Are you considering moving to Austria?
I’ve ever thought about it. There is the issue that I have to go alone, I don’t want to leave my coach either … I want to be here, it would be a very hard decision for me.