Elena Ruiz, the heiress

He is 18 years old and already European club champion with CN Sabadell (2022), Olympic silver at the Tokyo Games (2021), European national team champion (2022), World League champion (2022) and, now, she seeks to round off her record in these Fukuoka Swimming World Cups in which this Monday she will also lead the Women’s National Team against Hungary (12:30 p.m., Teledeporte). Elena Ruiz is a water polo wonder who already went to Tokyo at just 16 years old, but her impudence, her launch and her physical condition quickly convinced Miki Oca. “It was an incredible experience. This year he has begun to believe that I was at the Games, there, together with my references ”comments now at the gates of another transcendental party.

Elena Ruiz was the first player of a new generation who little by little made her way among the already legendary team that has been taking the podiums without interruption since the 2012 London Games. To the survivors Anni Espar, Pili Peña, Maica García and Laura Ester Talent from other generations has been added, from Bea Ortiz to Paula Leitón, but now a generation is emerging that as girls enjoyed the first successes of the warriors. Elena Ruiz is the main exponent accompanied by Cristina Nogué (2003), Nona Pérez (2003), Paula Camus (2002), Ariadna Ruiz (2002) and Martina Terré (2002). All of them have been incorporated after Tokyo: “It was the small one, but now we add many more. We have changed only in that, but we continue in the same line of work”.

An inveterate goalscorer, Ruiz began playing water polo at CN Rubí, where her mother had been one of the first members of the women’s water polo team. His sister Ariadna, two years older, dragged him into a sport that from the beginning he saw that he was very good at it.: “I started when I was seven years old and as I grew older and they promoted me in categories I saw that I stood out more than the rest,” he says. Her father played basketball but her daughters threw for her mother, passionate about water. The mestizo in the Ruiz family is curious: his grandparents were born in Madrid, Basque Country, Catalonia and Andalusia.

Fukuoka (Japan), 07/19/2023.- Elena Ruiz of Spain in action at the Women's Water Polo crossover matches between France and Spain events during the World Aquatics Championships 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan, 22 July 2023. (France, Japan, Spain) EFE/EPA/HIROSHI YAMAMURA
Fukuoka (Japan), 07/19/2023.- Elena Ruiz of Spain in action at the Women’s Water Polo crossover matches between France and Spain events during the World Aquatics Championships 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan, 22 July 2023. (France, Japan, Spain) EFE/EPA/HIROSHI YAMAMURA
HIROSHI YAMAMURAEFE

Perhaps because of this intinence, the water polo player also likes to change clubs regularly. From CN Rubí he went to CN Sabadell, with which he has won everything, and now from next season he will be part of the new project, “young and ambitious”, of CN Sant Andreu. Elena will get back together with Ariadna: “I seek to improve personally and contribute everything to the team. It motivates me a lot”. This course Ruiz had to drop out of Nursing (his mother is a nurse and his father is a veterinarian) and he will start Physical Activity and Sports Sciences forever. “I want to continue competing as long as I can, everything I’ve won is in the past, we have to look forward”underline.

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And looking forward is doing it to Fukuoka and to these World Cups where Spain seeks to repeat its best success, the gold achieved in Barcelona 2013, ten years ago, when Elena Ruiz was barely eight and was beginning to discover water polo: “When I was little, my idol was Jennifer Pareja. Then Anni Espar, Bea Ortiz… She is from Rubí, she was in the club and it was fun to train together the few times I got to. There are also Maica, Pili… I adored all of them”, confess. Now they all adore her. The warriors need the goals of Elena Ruiz, the heiress.

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