Jordi Llopart, the first Spanish athlete to win an Olympic medal has died aged 68.
The pioneering sportsman’s family told the Spanish Athletics Federation he passed away after failing to overcome a heart attack that left him in an irreversible coma.
The Federation said in a statement, the Olympic runner-up in Moscow 1980 and 50 km European champion in 1978, died today, Wednesday, November 11, at the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in Badalona.
His family said they were grateful for “the support and the expressions of affection received by the entire world of athletics and sports in general”.
Llopart was a groundbreaker in athletics and walking in Spain, managing to lift five Olympic medals, one gold, and 17 in the world, including three golds.
After his retirement, he began training other athletes such as Daniel Plaza, who achieved gold in the 20 km in Barcelona 1992.
President of the Spanish Athletics Federation, Raúl Chapado, stressed that Llopart was “one of those athletes who illuminated the future in the dark, he showed us with his Olympic medal that Spanish athletics could be great”.
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