Interview: María José Fernández
From G&A Magazine issue 11- By Silvia Roca
The new Spanish RSG Selector faces with illusion
the challenge of equalizing the gold medal of the Atlanta Games.
has relevated Emilia Boneva and right now is the maximum head of Spanish
rhythmics. Continuing the success of the Bulgarian won't be easy, but she's
convinced of that the experience got with her may be decisive.
After the gold medal got by
Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Estela Giménez, Lorena
Guréndez, Tania Lamarca and Estíbaliz Martínez
at Atlanta '96, the Spanish RSG team became orphan and, little by little,
it broke up.
The selector then, Emilia
Boneva, kept her promise and quit the ribbons, the clubs, the balls, the
ropes and the hoops and the majority of the gymnasts decided to not
repeat the olympic cycle.
María José Fernández
Ostolaza, Boneva's assistant, took the charge and started to make a team
which objective is in Sydney 2000.
The National Selector
recognizes that the starting was not easy, but actually "exists a relief
for the next Olympic Games. A group must be joined and that takes time
and work, but at the present time we are already thinking on Sydney".
Preparing the Games
requires many efforts and sacrifices. Gymnasts and technicians have to
give up many things and be almost exclusively dedicated to the movements,
choreographs, techniques, jumps, ... Because of that, María José
Fernández understands that the majority of the gymnasts have quit
the team. "An Olympic cycle is long and hard. The gymnasts have a complicated
age and that supposes loosing four years of school. In fact, the age is
one of the matters that are being more discussed, but logically, working
with young gymnasts has good and bad things"
No doubt, María José Fernández
has very high goals. After the gold medal got in Atlanta '96, knows that
she will receive very hard remands, but she's not afraid. She doesn't reject
being on the top of the podium because "There is quality for getting
it. Anyway, it is still soon to say it. We still need putting many hours,
working very hard, qualifying, knowing the rivals and fighting for it".
Emilia Boneva's shadow is very heavy in Spain,
because her conception of gymnastics and her way of work has changed rhythmics
in our country.
There is a before and an after Emilia Boneva.
María José Fernández is the one who has to write the
history of that after and knows that she will not be able to avoid the
comparisons with her predecessor. "Emilia has taught us everything during
fourteen years and I think that she will be unique. She is the knowledge.
It's very important for me continuing her work, but I have my career an
it's out of hers".
Since María José Fernández
assumed the direction of the national team has travelled a lot. She has
gone from competition to competition looking for new talents that would
give success to Spain, but not only immediately. One of the goals of the
selector is making groups of lower levels for making the relief gradually,
on a natural way. On this matter, she says that "On Children Category,
the gymnasts are very well trained. Their coaches have given priority to
the ballet and the body technic and I like it because shows an important
consciousness". She also considers that the Spanish have a very
good base technic, something that top countries like Bulgaria or Russia
have forgotten a bit about it on the last years. Never the less, states
that if there is something that differences Spanish gymnastics respect
of the big powers is "its character". Like that, its force, its
courage and its rage still have to impose many times on all over the World.