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The miracle of Queralt Castellet, the woman who chose the most complicated path

BarcelonaQueralt Castellet’s parents were among the first to buy a table snowboard, when this fashion began to reach the Pyrenees. For years, those in charge of many tracks denied access to those who arrived with a board snowboard, a fashion born in the United States. It seemed like a dangerous thing. But the Castellets liked it, and their children grew up with a table at their feet. They were one of those Vallès families who looked more towards the mountains, instead of towards Barcelona. El Vallès is like that, halfway through everything, but with enough personality to be unique. And years after those getaways in the mountains with their young children, with a girl who did not lift a handful of earth and already had a name that evoked the family’s passion for the peaks, Queralt, the Castellets cried excitedly on the floor of the center of Sabadell when he saw his daughter win a silver medal on the other side of the world.

Snow sports have never been fully understood. They carry the cross of being considered something rich. Christmas pictures of wealthy families using social media to show off breasts while opening bottles of cava with white backgrounds do not help. But the big names in mountain sports never usually come from wealthy families. They are exceptional people born into normal families, from Kilian Jornet to Queralt Castellet. From Núria Pau to Quim Salarich. Young people who love the mountains, who have decided to live on their own. Queralt, 15, has already decided that she wants to make a living fromsnowboard, when no one here thought it was possible to do so. Capricorn athletes, who ignored who told them it was crazy, like Ander Mirambell with theskeleton. The two share one thing in common: there were no tracks in the Pyrenees migtub ni de skeleton. There are now some hiking trails in the Pyrenees snowboard, but a track like the Olympics for the Castellet modality, no. In Spain, just 200 people have a license in one of the modalities of this sport. In other words, Castellet has made history in an almost non-existent sport in Spain, competing against the Americans or the Japanese. It’s a little miracle.

Nobody has given anything to Queralt Castellet. The family made an effort to accompany her and she was willing to work hard until the first successes in the United States allowed her to earn money to make a living from it. The first sponsors came later. I molt més tard, les ajudes de les federacions catalana i espanyola, quan van descobrir que una sabadellenca que fa servir un munt de mots en anglès, després de viure tants anys a Nova Zelanda i als Estats Units, guanyava competicions. Queralt Castellet made his debut in the Games at the age of 16 without much time to assess what this meant. Now, at 32, he does value what he has achieved. She has survived the death of her coach and romantic partner, whom she lost to cancer in 2015. She has survived years away from home, injured long nights. And when he hesitated, he always did what his parents used to do: go to the mountains and ski on virgin snow. Castellet has made history. And she has won it on her own, and she has become an example for other women athletes, who are mirrored in a champion who decided that she would shine in a sport that hardly existed in our country.



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