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Emotional King Felipe recalls night of Olympic glory

King Felipe VI of Spain
By Olaf Kosinsky - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Wiki Commons

On the day that the Tokyo Olympics were meant to get under way, Spain’s King Felipe has recalled the moment he carried his country’s flag on one of its most famous sporting nights.

Felipe joined many other Spanish flag bearers to recorded special messages celebrating the Olympic spirit, as a way of marking the Tokyo Games which have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As heir to the throne, Felipe carried the Spanish flag on the night the Barcelona Games got under way in 1992. That Olympiad, the first ever held in Spain, was seen as a huge success and came when the Spanish Royal Family was at the heights of its popularity.

Now, almost thirty years later, Felipe VI spoke in a specially recorded video, one of a series shared by the Spanish Olympic Committee to mark what should have been the start of the 23rd Olympiad in Japan.

Also on the list of those who spoke was Infanta Cristina, Felipe’s sister with whom he has had frosty public relations since her acquittal on tax fraud charges. The two didn’t meet during the making of the videos –  King Felipe spoke from his office at the Zarzuela Palace while Cristina recorded her message privately.

Cristina carried the flag at the Seoul Olympics of 1988 where she competed in a sailing event. Her brother followed in her footsteps four years later when he competed in sailing in Barcelona.

Speaking of his experience, Felipe seemed almost emotional and said ‘’the example that Barcelona 92 brought must continue to inspire us.’’ Cristina, meanwhile, said the experience had been an ‘’indescribable honour’’.

The Tokyo Olympic Games were set to run from July 24th to August 9th 2020 but they were put back by a year in March following the spread of coronavirus. They are now due to start on July 23rd 2021 and run until August 8th 2021.

You can see all the videos on the Spanish Olympic Committee You Tube Channel.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.