A few weeks ago Javier Fernandez made history again by winning his fifth consecutive European ice skating championship. These five European championships, together with his two world championship titles, make him the best ice skater in the history of our country and one of the best in Europe.
Upon his returning to Spain, the fact that no fans or sport authorities were waiting at the airport to welcome Javier caused a certain amount of controversy. The basically non-reporting of his victory in the media was much criticized in various circles. It was pointed out how sporting achievements are treated differently by the media depending on the sport which is involved. The fact that nobody was waiting to welcome him at the airport was put down by the media to not knowing the time of his arrival due to the athlete´s tight agenda. Another excuse was that Javier landed on the day when the members of the Federation Board were holding a number of press meetings.
It is clear, and undeniable , that all success achieved by any emerging sport –please, let’s stop calling them minority sports- have much less impact on both the media and among the general public than any success achieved by sports like football, basketball or tennis. This is mainly due to the little attention devoted to emerging sports by the media.
Regarding the media, many journalists put its lack of impact on people due to the lack of interest that emerging sports produce in the public. The media provide audience data of the little appeal that some sports have on the public at certain moments. As an example I will just mention two cases that have arisen recently: on the one hand, after London 2012 Olympic Games, badminton was a real rarity among sports fans in Spain. In 2014, just two years after those games, Carolina Marín was preparing to play in the World Championship in Denmark. In China alone , badminton has about 100 million federative licenses. Consequently to think of a Spaniard facing the Asian countries was like a distant dream. But Carolina went through round after round, and as she went through each round, more people attended the competition .Eventually she became the world champion. A year later, Carolina also played in the final of Badminton World Cup and she won her second World Cup. The broadcasting of this event reached a 10.2% of screen quota and it generated more than 23 million hits. It proved that this sport , If given a chance, can also be followed by lots of people.
On the other hand, last Christmas, Javi Fernández, undisputedly the leader of ice skating in Spain, decided to organize a show of music and skating called «RevolutiON Ice». This show was completely sold out and the “Palacio de los Deportes” in Madrid was full. It shows again that people look forward to getting to know these sports.
These are just two of the many examples we could have. With people like Bruno Hortelano, Saúl Craviotto or our gymnastics «magnificent team». They are sportsmen who, without a doubt, if they were given the opportunity, they would have as much impact on the public as sportsmen from other sports that the media focuses on.