Spain’s first love in terms of sports is obviously football, their name is very popular when it comes to football but it is a fact too that they do not only excel in that field but in basketball as well.
Lots of people are hooked in basketball in Spain. They often join Olympics and other international basketball tournaments and had won numerous titles. Let us first discuss the country itself…
Spain is located in the Southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain is a member state of the European Union too. It’s mainland is bordered to the south and east by Mediterranean Sea. Due to their location it is prone to external influences and that is why it is not a wonder how basketball has been introduced to them.
Spain in the Olympics
Spain had proved that their basketball team is a threat to other countries because of their achievements in the Eurobasket league and FIBA World Championships where they were able to get medals.
The Spain in the Olympics participates in both Winter Games and Summer Games. Spain first participated at the Olymics in 1900, however there was still no basketball tournament then. So, the Spain participated in other sports.
They participated in Summer sports such as Sailing, where they had 11 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 1 bronze medal, Cycling where they had 5 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze medals, they also had 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal in Gymnastics and 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 2 bronze medals in Judo. They also participated in Winter sports such as Alpine Skiing, where they had 1 gold medal and 1 bronze medal.
When Spain was able to qualify for the 1936 Olympics for the first time they were asked to compete in basketball category. Because it was their first time, expectations was very high, they were even one of the crowd’s favorites however, due to Spanish Civil War that began few days before the game started Spain was not able to attend the competition.
After the Civil War they were able to compete again in the Olympics, Spain had a hard time in winning and the greatest international success they made was when they had reached the finals in 1984 Summer Olympics Basketball tournament which was held in Los Angeles.
The Spanish team played against the USA team in the Basketball finals of the Olympics. However, they lost the against the USA, that’s why they only got the silver medal. The second olympic medal that the Spanish National team had was during the 2008 Olympics Games at Beijing. Once again, after twenty four years, the USA National team, led by Kobe Bryant, met the Spanish National Team at the Olympic Basketball Finals tournament.
Though the fight was very close, the Spanish National team was defeated again by the USA National team which was nicknamed as “the Redeem team”, and the Spanish National Team agaid had their second silver medal.