Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The goodbye of Paloma del Río, LGTBI icon and Olympic voice of rhythmic gymnastics

river dove has put the voice of the best broadcasts in the sports minorities for 37 years of television and radio. From seoul 88the commentator has covered a total of 16 Olympic Games, nine in summer and seven in winter. In addition, he is one of the great icons of the community LGBTIQ+ and feminism. The pioneering journalist in our country retires this sunday with the live broadcast of the 2023 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup, but he leaves behind him a lifetime dedicated to the communication of his enthusiasm for sport.

the beginning

After finishing high school, river dove completed a clinical assistant course and started to work on the night shift from the Clínica Ruber in Madrid to be able to finance his journalism studies at the Complutense University. When they granted him the RTVE Institute scholarship in July 1986, he did not hesitate to choose the sports journalism departmentafter that moment would come a long career as a commentator.

Historical moments of our athletes

With the seniority that it has acquired for almost four decades, after each championship, river dove has been able to narrate unique momentslike the Olympic medals that different Spanish athletes have achieved in different stages. A very special one was silver by Carolina Pascualwhich was done with the first olympic medal in rhythmic gymnastics that got Spain in its historyduring ‘Barcelona 92‘. Another of the most important narrated moments was the gold medal on the Atlanta set 1996 of rhythmic gymnastics that they got’golden girls‘, six young people between the ages of 15 and 17 who beat competitors as difficult as Russia and Bulgaria.

The commentator also gave voice to the bronze medal on floor What did you get Patricia Moreno at the 2004 Athens Gamesthe 16-year-old athlete brought home the only metal of Spanish female artistic gymnastics in history. Another milestone commented on by the sports journalist was the two gold medals for Gervasio Deferr in vaulting at the 2000 and 2004 Games. Thirteen years after Deferr’s silver on the ground in Beijing 2008, Paloma del Río narrated another podium for Spain on the ground during the Olympic Games of the gymnast Rayderley Zapata who also won the silver medal in Tokyo 2020. Without forgetting the comments he made to the Olympic runner-up in the rhythmic gymnastics group final at the Rio 2016 Games.

Although her voice has accompanied the athletes who managed to achieve their dream, the commentator has always claimed the need to provide information continuity to minority sportand not just once every four years.

Travel partner

One of the journalist’s faithful co-workers has been Almudena Cidthe only rhythmic gymnast who has competed four olympic finals. The two commentators are partners since 2011 in the most important sports broadcasts. It was especially emotional the last narrative of Olympic gymnastics by Paloma del Ríoof Tokyo 2020in which the two said goodbye, in tears, of the championship to which the veteran commentator would not give voice again. “You are the soundtrack of our lives” Told him cid to from the river.

LGTBIQ+ referent

The name of river dove often appears in lists of the most influential LGBTI characters and never had a problem talk openly about their sexuality. Besides, he has defended on several occasions the importance of athletes not hiding their homosexuality. The journalist premiered ‘I don’t want to hide anymore‘, a RTVE Play documentary series on homophobia in sport.

Some of the most notorious recognitions of river dove are the Ondas Award 1988With the RTVE team for the broadcast of JJ.OO. from seoul of the same year. Also, he got the Silver and Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit in 2011 and 2015. By covering more than 10 Olympic Games He was awarded the Recognition of the International Association of Sports Journalists. In 2019 she would win another Ondas Award for best presenter.


Paloma del Río has written two books. ‘tangling in memory‘ was published in 2015 and presents his memories and anecdotes, both personal and professional, related to the world of Olympic sports, gymnastics and skating. In 2021, ‘More than Olympics: Women who left their mark beyond sport’, co-written with Juan Manuel Surroca, went on sale, where he makes a human portrait of the athletes who have excelled in their disciplines, but have also had to overcome social adversities , cultural and economic for their dream.


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