The Cuban athlete, Javier Sotomayor, has been received by the mayor of Guadalajara, Ana Guarinos, and the councilor for sports, Armengol Engonga, when celebrating, a few days ago, the 30th anniversary of his current world record of 2.45 meters in the air free. The mark was achieved in Salamanca and is one of the longest-lived among those that remain in force in athletics.
Sotomayor is one of the great legends of the sport. Currently, he is still the world record holder in the high jump, both outdoors (2.45 m since 1993) and indoors (2.43 m since 1989). He was an Olympic champion at the Barcelona 92 Games, and a six-time world champion. In addition, he holds the 1993 Prince of Asturias Award for Sports.
Guarinos has congratulated Javier Sotomayor, for maintaining the validity of the mark not exceeded to date, and has highlighted the city’s links with athletics, with the Cuban National Team and with many other elite athletes who choose Guadalajara as the base of their training. For the mayoress, “having sports leaders like Javier Sotomayor in the city, who carry and boast the name and the city of Guadalajara wherever they go, is a true honor.”
Javier Sotomayor has come accompanied by the Cuban delegation that trains in the city, as well as his children, including Jaxier, a high jumper who also delivers in Guadalajara and who recently became Spanish champion in the under-16 category.
The high jump world record holder divides his time between Spain and Cuba. He lives in Guadalajara with his entire family, although he is active as a businessman in Cuba and owns a bar in Havana called 2.45, the name of the already legendary height that he surpassed three decades ago. In addition, he remains linked to the Cuban Athletics Federation.
The person in charge of the Cuban National Team, José Luis Aguilera; the provincial Athletics Delegate of the Spanish Federation, Julián García García; along with other people linked to the world of sports and athletics, including relatives of Juanjo Díaz, who was the athletics delegate in Guadalajara when the Cuban team arrived in Guadalajara, and Eladio Freijo.
The mayoress has pointed out that “Guadajara will once again be a benchmark in sports, a sports city, both for the importance of sport in the professional and personal life, as well as for the values it represents of effort, sacrifice, discipline, self-improvement, teamwork and the like. “It is essential -he said- for a healthy life, physically and psychologically. And, also, it is fun, a way of spending free time and having fun. For this reason, Guadalajara has to once again be a meeting place and a venue for sports and athletes. For Guadalajara, sport must be a window open to the world, the window that makes the image of Guadalajara known and projected throughout the world. Sport is the best projection of the image of Guadalajara throughout the world, our best showcase”.
“During the last few years, sport has tiptoed through Guadalajara, it has not had the recognition it deserves nor has it been given the importance it has. Fortunately, both I personally, as well as the sports councilor and the rest of the government team “We have a much more open and broad vision of what sport is and represents in life. Fortunately, things are already changing and Guadalajara will once again be the benchmark in sports that it should never have stopped being”, he concluded.
Delivery of a replica of the seal of the city of Guadalajara.
In recognition and gratitude to Javier Sotomayor, the mayoress has presented him with a replica of the seal of the city of Guadalajara, from the first half of the 13th century.
During the 13th century, the town of Guadalajara rose to prominence as one of the main urban centers of the kingdom of Castile. Always associated with the members of the royal family and receiving multiple privileges from Fernando III, Alfonso X or Sancho IV.
From this vantage point, the Council commissioned the making of a seal that would authenticate their documents and set the image of their special status. The seal contains a view of the then city of Guadalajara and the figure of one of its knights carrying the banner of the Council.
The town -which will not be a city until 1460- is defined as a bastion of powerful walls over the river Henares, from which emerge the silhouettes of its tall towers, those of the Royal Alcázar and its churches. On the reverse, a proud knight rides with the banner in the direction of the west, towards Alandalus.