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A Spanish swimmer has lashed out at the organizers of a 200 metre Championship breaststroke race for denying his simple request to hold a one minutes silence in honour of those who were caught up in the atrocities in Barcelona earlier this month.

The request was denied and when the whistle was blown, Mr Alvarez stayed on his stand and held his own one minute’s silence ultimately losing the race and a chance to move forward.

This sort of behaviour isn’t uncommon as we only a few months ago reported on a sole Saudi footballer standing at the centre line of the pitch while his team mates went about warming up during the minutes silence in response to the Ariana Grande concert explosion.

We have to ask, why, when so many countries have now been affected by mindless terrorism, why this simple request was denied. We know that no amount of silence will bring the departed back, and we know that the mental and emotional scars will never heal. However, a dignified show of solidarity will be of great comfort to friends and family, and anyone who was affected by any of these attacks.

The double attacks in Barcelona have currently reached a death toll of 15, with many more injured and countless lives adversely affected.

FINA, when he requested the minutes silence was shot down with them saying they couldn’t ‘waste’ a minute. So Mr. Alvarez took it upon himself and remained firmly planted on his starting block for a full 60 seconds before diving in to complete the race.

What FINA does not seem to realize is that, either way, that minute was going to be used, and ultimately the race finished the grand total of a minute late.

A compassionate gesture from a man who should feel proud of himself for not only acknowledging the fallen, but also for going against such a petty decision. He said he didn’t care about not winning, because he feels something more than winning all the gold medals in the world.

It’s sad really, that organizers deemed it unnecessary to hold a minute’s silence, not only for those in Barcelona, but everyone who has been caught up in the terrible and mindless atrocities which seem to all be related to ISIS. We have to ask, had this been one of the organizers’ family members or friends, would they have taken a different stance to the request.

Spain, and the Spanish are a proud and religious people. They may not spend all of their time in Church, or pray every morning and night and say grace at every meal, but when atrocities happen, they do turn to God, and they do pray.

They pray for the safety of their loved ones, that the innocent victims are granted a place in heaven, that the world would stop self cannibalizing and hurting each other. For the most part, the Spanish are a very peaceful, laid back group, a group that would rather relax at a bar and sip coffee and brandy, not commit acts of war and terrorism.

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