SportsThe troubles behind the Olympic gold in climbing

The troubles behind the Olympic gold in climbing



The Federation that has achieved an Olympic gold in the Tokyo Games with Alberto Ginés and a world silver in speed with Erik Noya last September has no money to pay for the remaining competitions to be played between now and the end of the year. There are two European Cup events in Lavan (France) and Tyumen (Russia) in November and the Youth Cup in Soare (Portugal) this October, as reported by the FEDME (Federation of Climbing and Mountain Sports) in a release. There is also no money to attend a youth meeting organized by France at the end of this month, to which Spain has been invited for the first time. This is how David Maciá, Alberto Ginés’ national coach and coach, sums up the situation: “There is no more. I have not found any treasure chest with hidden money ”.

The FEDME is the only Spanish federation that has two sports, one for summer (climbing) and one for winter (ski mountaineering will be Olympic in 2026). It has a budget of about two million euros and 248,406 licenses accounted for in 2020. How did you get to the extreme of having to stop going to three competitions? According to the FEDME statement, the causes are beyond their control. “Income has been reduced in 2021 (around 425,000 euros), due to the decrease in licenses (between 75,000 and 100,000 euros less than last year), and the decrease in ordinary subsidies (-75,000 euros) and extraordinary (of the 400,000 euros requested, they have granted 132,908.73). So we had to make the decision to cancel our attendance at three competitions ”.

Lluis Giner, the technical director —the new president, Alberto Ayora, has kept him in office, like Maciá— explains it this way: “The international calendars are expansive; if in the end you can’t go to two competitions that are from a second league, nothing happens either. Why? Because the trend of the Spanish federation is: where the CSD has not reached with ordinary and extraordinary help, the federation itself has arrived with its own resources. And that has always been done, what happens is that this year our own resources have gone very down, because there has been a decrease in the issuance of licenses and to contain spending we have decided not to go. There, nothing happens. Better that he could have gone, of course, but out of context it seems like a tragedy and instead it is nothing, “he says. He, he assures, would not have released “any statement.” Giner claims Olympic gold, world silver and the work done in 2021: “We have given 130%, we have done 27 technical concentrations and attended 30 international competitions.”

He also says that ordinary people are unaware of the situation in which Alberto Ginés has been preparing for the Olympic Games. “We have had to pay tickets to go to climbing walls to train, we have had to tell people: ‘please, give me this space for five minutes that this person who has qualified for the Games and has to train.’ And someone tells you: ‘of course, it would take more, whatever you need’. But others, with good reason, answered us: ‘hey, I have paid the same as you, eh’. And this, now, with the Olympic gold, we cannot do it because our face falls from shame ”. Ginés himself says it is a miracle that he won gold in Tokyo. An average of five months a year is spent abroad, in Austria, because in Spain there are not the facilities you need to train: “What I ask is a proper climbing wall. It’s the only thing I need ”.

The FEDME explains that ordinary subsidies have dropped by 75,000 euros. But, according to CSD data, 2021 registered the highest figure: 53,056,176 euros for all federations. The increase for the FEDME compared to the previous year was 45,865 euros. Yes, it has lowered 1% of LaLiga (section that is destined to the contributions of high-level athletes and aid to athletes who represent Spain in international competitions), which have gone from 18 million in 2020 to 16. The percentage allocated The FEDME is closing these days, but you already know that you cannot count on that money yet. Aid for results has decreased, from 27,752 euros in 2020 to 13,136 in 2021. The contribution of the Women and Sports program has almost doubled (from 24,998 to 40,265). The FEDME requested 400,000 in aid for projects and activities and was granted 133,000 (for the 145,800 in 2020). This concept depends precisely on the type of project that is presented.

Giner abounds: “We are dealing with many things, the money is extremely limited and the needs are endless. In a Federation with a budget like ours, the decrease in licenses that we have had is very noticeable ”. The licenses that contribute money to the FEDME are the state ones (to compete you need to be federated, but not to go to a climbing wall, for example) but so far in 2021 the regional ones have surpassed the state ones. The latter have gone from 131,412 in 2020 to 108,778 as of September 30; while the regional ones have risen from 117,571 to 167.66. Each regional license subtracts from the FEDME between 15 and 55 euros (depending on the communities and the ages). And that, according to Giner, has hurt the box a lot. “Do we need more resources from the CSD? Yes. Do we need more income from own resources? Yeah true. Do we need more income from sponsorships? Yes. But this is the FEDME, we are going step by step and we are looking for it. We can’t go faster. Alberto has given us a great gift with his gold and we have to know how to take advantage of it ”.

“I hope I have a proper climbing wall”

There are five, on average, the months that Alberto Ginés, much to his regret, spends a year outside of Spain in search of climbing walls with a level to train. After the Games he gave up going to a World Cup – and a possible podium – precisely because he was tired of going out. “Just thinking about having to go back to Austria without being able to see my family well … I don’t want this, I told myself.”

Is gold an added pressure given the situation of the FEDME? “The budget has been cut in Olympic year, many kids have not been able to go to compete. The Federation goes where it goes. If there is no budget from external sources they cannot do anything. I hope my gold is good for something. Not only in climbing; all sports need more support if we want to achieve great achievements and not isolated successes because they do not have a base on which to build ”, responds Ginés, 18 years old. And he says that the conditions, for the moment, are the same. “There is a new climbing wall, but it does not have enough level to prepare world cups or Games. It is evolving and I hope that for Paris we will have something in a position to avoid having to go out so much ”.

Maciá ditches like this: “As much as Alberto has won the gold, we will not receive an extra subsidy before the end of the year. We cannot reach Paris 2024 without having the necessary infrastructure. We are talking about big money budgets ”. Participation in the three canceled competitions will finally be paid by the regional federations.

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