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Eguibar: “It makes me angry to be only a few points away from winning the title”

Madrid, Mar 31 (EFE).- At the age of 29, Lucas Eguibar (San Sebastián) confirmed that he is one of the great figures of winter sports when he finished last Sunday, after a great season finale, in second position in the Copa del World of snowboarding boardercross, a competition that he won eight seasons ago and in which he has five victories, two of them in Sierra Nevada. The Basque champion has a gold medal and two silver medals in the World Championship, as well as the aforementioned Crystal Globe (2015), in addition to the runner-up title achieved a few days ago in the regularity competition. Three times Olympic -and two Diplomas-, at the Sochi 2014 Games (Russia), PyeongChang 2018 (South Korea) and last year in Beijing, the capital of China; Eguibar -with two Olympic Diplomas- will look for the long-awaited Olympic medal, the only important trophy that he lacks, in the Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) tournament in 2026, which he still sees, however “far away”. ‘Luki’, who was coming off a major back injury, had the opportunity to win the Crystal Globe again until the last moment. The title was decided in the last round of the last race in Mont-Sainte-Anne (Canada), in which he finished fourth and the German Martin Noerl, after placing first, was proclaimed champion. After this second place, the athlete stressed the importance of assessing the moment he is in now and where he comes from after the injury. An advance that he assured, in an interview that took place this Friday in the Central Newsroom of the EFE Agency, which makes him “very happy.” Q: How is he after being runner-up in the World Cup? A: I am very happy, since he was coming from a back injury, we started a little undecided, because we did not know if he was going to be able to hold out well throughout the season, and how we were going to be on a level. Finishing like this, with this medal, makes me super happy. Q: How did you experience the last race, in which he had a chance until the last moment? A: I lived it with a lot of nerves and tension, a little of everything. I knew how to control it very well. I really enjoyed that day and I remember it in detail. Q: Has it made you angry to be on the verge of getting the Golden Globe for the second time? A: Yes, it made me angry to be only a few points away from winning the title. Bothers. But the important thing is where we came from and where we are. I am very happy and wanting more. Q: How is his back? Are you already one hundred percent recovered? A: I don’t think my back will ever be 100 percent the way it was before. But we are doing a very good job. I will not return to that 100% but I have other qualities that we are knowing how to take advantage of. Q: What was that stage like, being out due to injury? A: I felt a lot of frustration, with those pains I couldn’t continue. I was in a lot of pain. It was frustrating, because whatever I did hurt, I could hardly train or compete. You can’t do much more, you’re injured and that’s it. Q: I imagine you are already thinking about the 2026 Olympic Games in Milan… A: I think about the Olympic Games, but I see them quite far away. I want to go season by season, as I have gone this year. The next one too, I already think about the world cup next year. And the games will come, I hope to prepare myself year after year and arrive in very good shape. But there is still. Q: Recently there has been a new discipline of boardercross, for mixed teams, which replaces the competitions for both men’s pairs, in which you also achieved success, and women’s. At the moment, there are no girls with whom I can compete. What do you think is missing for there to be a girl at that level in Spain? A: There are no girls now, but there are young men on the way. I hope they continue to work hard just like I worked when I was younger, and like Álvaro Romero is doing right now. I hope the girls arrive soon. In this modality, each country is taking out its team, and Spain has to be there. Q: What do you expect from the next season? A: This year we went little by little to see where our level was due to the issue of injury. We have been able to see that we are doing very well. In the first training sessions we will be thinking that if we do it well we can opt for titles. Q: At the beginning you said that you did not want to be an athlete who only won once, but that you wanted to stay in the elite for many years. He is getting it. Do you think you will be able to maintain that level? Do you feel pressure? A: I don’t feel pressure, it’s more what I put on myself. I like competition and that’s why I continue, and obviously I like to win. I try not to think about the pressure, although sometimes I feel it. Now when we have been in Sierra Nevada (where he won one race and was second in the other) I feel that everything is a lot “Lucas, Lucas, Lucas”, and in other races when we go to Switzerland or Canada nobody mentions Lucas and suddenly in Sierra Nevada when I was going to the gate there were fifty Lucas what I was listening to. I feel the pressure, but even in Sierra Nevada I managed it well and this year I have brought it to a point where I have been very comfortable and I have liked it. Q: Álvaro Romero has just been proclaimed junior world champion. How does he see it? A: I see Álvaro very well. He is where he needs to be and doing very well. In fact, two weeks ago he got silver in the World Cup and that is a very good result. He made a run and knew how to adapt to the conditions in which he was and we all saw how well he did. I think he has a lot of potential and that working well he can be one of the athletes who is up there in the future. In the not too distant future, he has made a second place two weeks ago and next year he can repeat it. Q: Could you tell me three words that define you as an athlete? A: I try to be a worker, a fighter and a dreamer. Lucía González (c) EFE Agency

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