Javier Gomez Noya was awarded one of Spain’s most prestigious athletic awards yesterday by the media outlet MARCA. The four-time ITU World Champion Gomez joins Pelé, Michael Jordan, Juan Antonio Samaranch and Cristiano Ronaldo in being named the recipient of the “MARCA Leyenda”.
“It’s a big honour,” Gomez said. “It’s the biggest sports magazine in Spain. I was watching legends receive this award with big athletes like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. It’s great for my sport, as well, because we aren’t accustomed to being recognized at that level.”
When receiving the award, Gomez gave recognition to the triathletes that paved the way ahead of him, as well as his three coaches.
“Ivan Raña was a mirror for me when I started and the reference point for us all. I lived with him when I was 17 years old and more than anything I learned to compete from him. I learned what it took to be a triathlete, it is a job that’s 24 hours a day. . . I consider myself very lucky and privileged to be able to do something I love. That’s not always possible in Spain.”