In the Aegean, between friends and happinessa narration begins that concludes between the sadness and tenderness with her mother, Pilar, scattering her ashes in the Mediterranean. The descriptive, detailed, agile, delicate and respectful biography of Jesús Rollán begins and ends in the sea, like life, it takes place in the water, where the great deeds of a world water polo figureand out of it the protagonist travels from youthful antics to drowning after withdrawal, and hearts shrink. Also on the way to the sea, on Barcelona’s Rambla Catalunya, it was presented this Monday ‘Jesus Rollán Eterno’ (Editorial Corner). An essential work for lovers of sports and much more: as the subtitle says, to get closer to life and death.
“Is a mr bookbiographical, reference, consultation, journalistic and also literary”, introduced the host of the event, the chief editor of El País Ramon Besawho highlighted his “value of poetic justice, by restoring the honor of Jesus and of a unique generation”. The generation of champions in Atlanta-96, some present in a Casa del Llibre full of Olympism, including the former selector Tony Estellerwith whom it all began, Dani Ballart, Miki Oca, Jordi Payà, Ángel Andreo, Chiqui Sans, Sergi Pedreroland current water polo figures, also female, such as Laura Esther. Payà synthesized that “Jesus was laughter, he was life, he was an old rocker, of those who die with their boots on, who in fact will never die”.
For Francis Avilaa journalist for Agencia EFE and one of the two authors of the book, the legendary goalkeeper, European champion with CN Catalunya and Pro Recco, “was an all-terrain athlete, and he had enormous magnetism and generosity. He really enjoyed leading the new players who came to the National Team”. Pedrerol agreed that “from a very young age, Jesus gathered people. You didn’t know why, but a lot of people ended up in his room at the Blume residence. You could find from a parrot to anything. Everyone wanted to be always by his side”.
“Imperfect things are the ones that end up being eternal”
“Paco and I signed the book, but it could be signed by any of the 60 people we talked to”, highlighted the co-author and partner of AS, Alberto Martinez. One of those figures, Ballart, recalled about the bitter Olympic silver in 1992 that “imperfect things are the ones that end up being eternal. The final in Barcelona was what drove us to achieve the dream of 13 patients, which was to be Olympic champions”.
And when that gold arrived, in 1996, paradoxically his mind took a turn that did not correspond to his sporting successes, since he would later win two World Cups. “When he wins, and is recognized as the best goalkeeper of the moment, surely his head starts to click and having to manage a complicated situation”, Ávila explained.
The stigma of suicide
It is then that the book also changes tone. With admirable delicacy and respect, the subject of suicide is treated. “There were two days left to deliver the book to the publisher and the mother of Jesus sent us a message so that we could talk and thus better explain the final part”, revealed Martínez, who added: “One of the objectives of the work was to claim that suicide be talked about, that it be normalized, because if it is treated it can be avoided”. Along the same lines, Ávila expressed himself: “There is a stigma in this society to hide certain problems, and they must be made known to avoid them and to overcome them. Just as talking about traffic accidents have been reduced, we must talk about suicides”.
Described the Selection defended in the goal by Rollán as “predestined to always win” by Dr. Albert Estiarte, the rubric on the value of the book was put by Payà: “As it has been discussed, it may be an example for kids who start in our little world of water polo”. A treatise on sport, life, death. Immense like the sea.
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