Afternoon of dictatorship and tributes

May 10, 2017

Two very important sessions have taken place today at the Olympic and Sports Museum Joan Antoni Samaranch.

At 7p.m. the session Sport and Dictatorship has started with the screening of two very high quality documentaries. For starter viewers had the privilege to watch Nadia Comanenci la gymnaste et le dictateur, a French production that narrates the life of Rumanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who attained the first perfect Olympic score, at the young age of 14, in Montreal 1976 and how the government of her country took advantage of her and her image. Following we had the screening of Pursuing Irenice, Brasilian production that shows the search for a forgotten athlete whose story was erased from the face of the earth by her country’s military.

The Session was presented by RTVE journalist Paloma del Río because of her connection to Rhythmic Gymnastics broadcasting at an Olympic level.

At 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorio Gran we have celebrated a tribute to the figure of Joan Palau Francàs, who was one of Catalonia’s forefather of adapted sports for disabled athletes, as well as driving force in the world of Spanish Paralympic sports. During his life he held several important positions, such as the Presidancy of the Spanish Federation for the Disabled, which he founded in 1968 in harness with Joan Antoni Samaranch. He was also vicepresident of the Spanish Paralympic Committee and president of the Catalan Federation of Sports for the physically disabled.

After the tribute we have proceeded to the screening of The Best of Men a biopic produced by the BBC that narrates the life of Dr. Guttmann and how he revolutionized the treatments for those suffering of paraplegia. His techniques involved sport and physical activity which was a total innovation in contrast with the techniques used up until then. Guttmann was the first one to organize competition for people confined to a wheel chair, which meant taking a huge stap towards the first Paralympic games.

Dr. Ludwing Guttmann inspired Palau Francàs to fight for Paralympic Sports, fight and hard worg that earned him a Creu de Sant Jordi in 2003

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