Snowboarder from Ceuta wins Olympic medal for Spain

A snowboarder from Ceuta has won Bronze in the Winter Olympics , the first medal for Spain for 26 years.

Snowboarder from Ceuta wins Olympic medal for Spain
Regino Hernandez has become Spain's third ever winner in the Winter Olympics. Photo: AFP

Regino Hernandez has become only the third Spaniard ever to win a medal in the Winter Olympics after scooping third place in the Men’s Snowboard Cross in Pyeongchang on Thursday.

He joins brother and sister Paco and Blanca Fernández Ochoa in the ranks of Spain’s winter Olympic heroes. Paco won Spain’s first (and only) gold medal in the slalom in Sapporo in 1972 and his sister Blanca, won silver 20 years later in Albertville.

A jubilant Hernandez said after winning Bronze: “This is something I have dreamed of my whole life.”

The 26-year-old was born in Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves in north Africa, but moved with his family to Mijas Costa on the Costa del Sol when he was just a year old.

Spain sent a team of eight athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics and Hernandez is considered a veteran among them as he competed in both Vancouver 2010 aged only 17 and Sochi 2014.

He came third behind France’s Pierre Vaultier and Jarryd Hughes of Australia.



Spain’s capital delays reopening of schools after historic snowfall

Madrid's regional government on Friday postponed the opening of schools until January 20 because many roads remained blocked a week after Spain's worst snowstorm in decades.

Spain's capital delays reopening of schools after historic snowfall
Children riding sleds are pulled by their parents amid a heavy snowfall in Madrid on January 9, 2021: AFP

The region's 2,557 schools had been set to reopen on Monday but access to over half of them, or 57.6 percent, remains difficult because of the snow and ice, the regional government said in a statement.

Clean-up crews will “continue working intensely over the following days” to ensure school can open as planned, it added.

Storm Filomena dumped 50 centimetres (20 inches) of snow on Madrid between last Friday and Saturday, leaving the city and large swathes of the country impassable.


The storm had been blamed for five deaths. It was followed by several days of plunging temperatures, which hardened mounds of snow and slush.

ANALYSIS: Should Madrid be declared a disaster zone as true cost of storm damage emerges?

While main arteries have been cleared, hundreds of side streets remained caked in snow and ice which has disrupted post delivery and rubbish collection, with huge piles of refuse piled up around overflowing bins across Madrid.

A pile of garbage bags is pictured in Madrid on January 14, 2021. Gabriel BOUYS / AFP

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About a third of all streets, or 30.3 percent of all streets have been cleared, according to Madrid city hall which estimates the storm caused at least 1.4 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in damage.

Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida said the storm dumped more than 1.2 million kilos of snow on the city, enough to form a line of trucks stretching from Madrid to Brussels.

He has called on the central government to declare the area a disaster zone, a move that would trigger emergency aid and other measures.

But the central government wants to wait for a final evaluation of the damage before it decides whether to declare Madrid a disaster area, Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos told reporters.

People walk amid a heavy snowfall in Madrid on January 9, 2021. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Meanwhile, Madrid three main art museums — the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia, the home of Picasso's masterpiece “Guernica” — all announced that they would reopen on Monday for the first time since the storm hit.

People enjoy the snow outside the Royal Palace in Madrid on January 9, 2021. Gabriel BOUYS / AFP

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