A 14-YEAR-OLD canoeist has refused to collect a medal he won in a competition in the town of Zaragoza after he was forced to remove the Spanish flag he had draped over his shoulders.
The events took place after a Spanish Canoeing Federation competition during the medal ceremony at the pavilion of the Commercial Circuit of Seville.
Pablo Ogazón Rodríguez Tabernero, climbed the podium to receive his medal but was told forcibly to remove his Spanish flag before he could be awarded the medal.
A similar situation occurred in Pontevedra in North Western Spain where Pablo Ogazón went to collect his medal he had won in the Sprint Young Promises Championship in Verducido. He was forced to take off the flag and received boos from the crowd, making him feel very uncomfortable.
Zaragoza falls under the autonomous community of Aragon and has its own identifying flag, to which, similar to Catalan, they are very protective over, and certain political parties such as The Aragonese Nationalism Party are campaigning for independence.
The Commercial Circuit Governing Board has sent a letter condemning the actions of the ceremonies.
“We are an entity with 150 years of history, having more than 700 athletes competing for Spain; our athletes have worn the flag of Spain without any controversy or offense,”