Martin López-Zubero

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is López-Zubero and the second or maternal family name is Purcell.
Martin López-Zubero
Personal information
Full name Martín López-Zubero Purcell
Nationality  Spain
Born (1969-04-23) April 23, 1969 (age 45)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 78 kg (172 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Backstroke
Club Club Natació Sabadell
College team University of Florida

Martín López-Zubero Purcell (born April 23, 1969), also known as Martin Zubero, is a former competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. López-Zubero was born in the United States, swam in international competition for Spain, and holds dual Spanish-American citizenship.

Family background[edit]

López-Zubero was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969.[1] His father was born in Zaragoza, Spain, but came to the United States to study medicine.[2] He grew up as a member of a swimming family.[3] His older brother, David López-Zubero won the bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly swimming for Spain at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia.[3]

Early years and education[edit]

López-Zubero attended The Bolles School in Jacksonville, and trained under coach Gregg Troy while swimming for the Bolles Bulldogs.[3] His older brother and sister swam for the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and he received an athletic scholarship to attended the university, where he swam for coach Randy Reese and coach Skip Foster's Florida Gators swimming and diving teams from 1988 to 1991.[4] While swimming for the Gators, he won four NCAA championships—the 200-meter individual medley, the 400-meter medley relay, and twice in the 200-meter backstroke—and received fifteen All-American honors.[4] After his college swimming career, López-Zubero trained under coach Ron Ballatore as a member of the Florida Aquatic Swim Team (FAST), and his older brother David served as his personal trainer and coach.[3]

International swimming career[edit]

López-Zubero swam in three Summer Olympics—1988, 1992 and 1996.[1] He placed eleventh in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and returned four years later in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain to win the gold medal in the same event while also placing fourth in the 100-meter backstroke and seventh in the 100-meter butterfly.[1] Four years afterward, López-Zubero finished fourth in the 100-meter backstroke and sixth in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.[1]

López-Zubero won world championship titles in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1991 World Aquatics Championships in Perth, Western Australia and the 100-meter backstroke at the 1994 World Aquatic Championships in Rome, Italy, and also finished third in the 100-meter backstroke in 1991 and second in the 200-meter backstroke in 1994.[3] López-Zubero was a five-time European champion, winning the 100-meter backstroke in 1989 (Bonn), 1991 (Athens), 1993 (Sheffield) and 1997 (Seville), winning the 200-meter backstroke in 1991 and finishing as the runner-up in 1993.[3] He also won the 100 and 200-meter backstroke events at the 1990 and 1994 Goodwill Games.[3]

Life after swimming[edit]

López-Zubero graduated from the University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance with a bachelor's degree in recreation in 1998. He formerly served as The Bolles School’s assistant head swimming coach, and was honored as the "Florida Age Group Coach of the Year" in 1998, 1999 and 2002.[3] Lopez-Zubero was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2001,[5][6] and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2004.[3]

López-Zubero is married and has a son and a daughter.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sports-Reference.com, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Martin Lopez-Zubero. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  2. ^ George Diaz, "UF's Zubero A Key Swimmer for Spain," Orlando Sentinel (July 5, 1992). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i International Swimming Hall of Fame, Honorees, Martin Lopez Zubero (ESP). Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  4. ^ a b 2008 Florida Gators Swimming & Diving Media Guide, History, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88–90, 117 (2008). Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  5. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, 2001 Hall of Fame Inductees. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Nine Former Gators Enshrined into the Hall of Fame," GatorZone.com (April 6, 2001). Retrieved July 21, 2011.

External links[edit]