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Welcome

Thank you for stopping by.  My name is Sergio Lopez Miro and I have been involved in the swimming world as a swimmer or as a coach for almost 40 years.  Swimming has given me a path in life and my goal is to share some of my thoughts and experiences here with you.  Let me know what you think and enjoy!

 

 

Wednesday
Jul042012

Happy 4th of July - THANK YOU!

Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Today I just want to share my story of why I am thankful and proud to be a citizen of The United States of America.

I was born in Barcelona Spain in 1968 and raised during the last years of a long and hard dictatorship.  There are many things that the dictatorship took away from the Spanish people but I think one of the hardest things that I believe was taken away was a sense of belonging.  The system had many Spanish Regions oppressed and created a desire of separation which made people like me not have much respect for the Spanish Flag and the National Anthem.  Barcelona is the capital of the region of Catalonia which is a “country” with its own language (Catalan) and with amazingly rich history and culture.  Growing up it was very difficult to have an identity because if you said that you were Spanish and wore anything with the Spanish Flag you could be considered a “Fascist” and if you said you were Catalan and wore anything with the Catalan Flag you could be considered “Separatist”.  And please don’t ask me what some people would do to you if you had the guts to play the National Anthem.  The result for young people like me was being confused and really not having a sense of belonging. 

Over the years there have been many unofficial versions of the Spanish National Anthem but after the death of our dictator Francisco Franco and between 1978 and 2008 the Spanish National Anthem had no lyrics.  In 2008 the Spanish Olympic Committee came out with new lyrics for the anthem but still many Spanish people have not embraced it, and in my humble opinion it is sad.

I came to USA in 1987 and imagine my shock when I landed in Bloomington Indiana without speaking English and coming from a city like Barcelona to heartland USA.  It was a huge cultural shock to say the least and my first year was very hard.  There are many lessons in life that I learned that year, but I never thought in my wildest dreams that the USA National Anthem and the way the Americans respected it was going to make me appreciate and understand my Flag, My Anthem and my Country.

The first time I heard the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a meet I thought “these people are crazy, this would never happen in Spain and even less in a competition in Barcelona.”  Honestly growing up in Barcelona if you had the guts to suggest playing the Spanish National Anthem before a meet you would probably get beat up.  I am not joking.  I remember going to the 1988 Indiana Boys High School Swimming & Diving State Championship at the Natatorium and I got Goosebumps when they played the National Anthem and every single soul in the Natatorium (probably over 2000-3000 people) were singing at the same time.  By the end of my first year every time I saw a Spanish or Catalan flag I felt so good because it just reminded me of my family, friends, city, culture, food anything and everything.  I felt so proud to be Spanish and Catalan.  Now every time I hear the “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the Spanish National Anthem or the “Segadors” (Catalan Anthem) I get Goosebumps and feel special to have such great homes and great memories.

I also feel lucky to be a citizen of the USA, for giving me a chance to get an education, an opportunity to pursue my dream as a swimmer and coach and most important it has provided me with an amazing wife and kids and an opportunity to have my mother here with us.

Well this is my story and on a day like today I just want to give thanks to such a great country for everything that has provided to me and my family.  THANK YOU and hope everyone is having an amazing day.  Enjoy the fireworks and here is a video I took the last night at the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha Nebraska of our National Anthem.

Are you getting Goosebumps ;-) ?

I did and I will!

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Reader Comments (3)

:)!

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos LM

Great post Sergi!
Will we have the chance to have you someday as head coach of the Catalan Swimming National Team representing at an Olympics or World Champs. Your mum deserves that ;-)

Salutacions cordials

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuillem Lopez

Moltes gracies Guillem. May se sap. La veritat que seria interesant
Cuidat i gracies!

July 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterSergio Lopez Miro

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