Javier Fernández (Madrid, April 15, 1991) will end in 2019 a brilliant sports career, but also short for the requirement of ice skating, a discipline 'unknown' in Spain until its irruption, carved with much sacrifice away from his family and in one of the cradles of this sport like Canada, which has allowed him to be considered a place of honor and as a pioneer of the best history of Spanish sport.
The Madrilenian, that next year will turn 28, a 'veteran' age for a skater, will leave him after fulfilling the last great dream he had left, the Olympian. On February 17 of this year, in the South Korean town of PyeongChang, Fernandez hung a longed for bronze, the same one that four years ago had escaped him by tenths and that nevertheless propelled him towards definite stardom.
The Olympic medal was the only thing lacking in Spanish in a huge palmarés carved to the base of sacrifice and far from the country that saw him born. And it is not ice skating a sport that has a great tradition in Spain, where there are hardly any tracks or federated licenses compared to the great world powers.
Javier Fernández knew how to convince with his quality that it was a diamond to be polished, but he had to look abroad for the options to become a reality. At the moment, his figure has already started to emerge others like Javier Raya, Felipe Montoya, Sara Hurtado, Celia Robledo or Luis Fenero, who have also gone away to improve and little by little they are consolidating and putting their name in the international panorama as it is the case of Hurtado that, next to Kirill Khaliavin obtained a few days ago a historical silver in the modality of dance.
This Madrid from Cuatro Vientos discovered ice skating with only 6 years thanks to his sister Laura, who attended classes. Once with the 'worm' inside, discarded others sports most popular to focus on this sparse tradition in Spain and soon become the best in Spain helped by the direction of Carolina Sanz, his first coach, and despite not liking 'too much' work.
From there, he began his journey away from Madrid, his family and the studios. First he had to go to Jaca (Huesca), then to Andorra and finally to the other side of the pond, to New Jersey (United States), together with the prestigious Russian technician Nikolai Morozov, who also took him to Russia.
His relationship with Morozov was not too extensive at the time and it was then that ran into Brian Orser, former world champion and double Olympic medalist. The Canadian, also coach of Kim Yuna and Yuzuru Hanyu, did know how to get the most out of Madrid, who moved to Toronto to make the final leap in quality and not stop from that moment.
Javier Fernández discovered artistic skating for the Spanish. He became the master of Europe without encountering resistance, chaining up to six consecutive titles since 2013, but he also knew how to rub shoulders with the best in the world, especially from dislike of Sochi 2014 where just over a point deprived him of a bronze, which was for the sadly deceased Denis Ten.
But that setback was a platform from which he began to extend his track record beyond the Old Continent. The 2014 World Cup bronze, just one month after the Games, was the first stone, and Fernandez did not stop in his ambition and, despite training with the best of his time, his friend Yuzuru Hanyu, was able to chain two worlds in 2015 and 2016 beating the spectacular Japanese skater, which increased expectations for PyeongChang 2018 where he finally pulled a thorn in the Olympic bronze.
Able to play the pirate Jack Sparrow, a superhero, Don Quixote or Charles Chaplin, artistic values together with the music to which he gives maximum importance to his skating, where, technically, highlights its quadruple Salchow, his best and most representative jump, the glorious night of PyenonChang had already indicated that his journey in this sport was coming to an end and his resignation from the World Cup in Milan was one more proof of the demand that had led him to conquer their dreams.
Now, this pioneer in the world of Spanish sport, as were Severiano Ballesteros or Ángel Nieto years ago or Carolina Marín and Lydian Valentín today, will be dedicated to make grow his sport in Spain, the country from which he had to go to become one of the best Spanish athletes in history and who will find it hard to find the huge gap left by the Madrid.