Rafael Gómez Ortega

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Rafael Gómez Ortega, (July 16, 1882 – May 25, 1960) also known as El Gallo ("the rooster") was an early twentieth century bullfighter. He came from a family of famous bullfighters, including his matador father, Fernando Gómez García and matador younger brother, José Gómez Ortega. He is today remembered for several of his unique fighting techniques such as the espantada - or "sudden flight", which simply consisted of him fleeing when the bull entered the ring. Other techniques included fighting bulls from a chair. He is remembered by the phrase, "all of us artists have bad days." His fights were considered amusement to the audience, and he was brought out of retirement seven times because of this "sportsmanship". In his last fight, in October 1918, he claimed he spared the bull because it "winked" at him. The audience again felt this was hilarious, but Ortega's brother, José (also known as "Joselito El Gallo"), concerned about the family honor, hopped into the ring and killed the bull.

One of his sentences made it to be a common phrase in Spanish: "Lo que no pue ser no pue ser y ademas es imposible" [1] which can be translated into "what can't be, can't be and moreover it is impossible".

Ortega later wasted his fortune, and was supported by Juan Belmonte. He was married to Pastora Imperio, a famous flamenco dancer.

Radio artist Joe Frank briefly tells Gómez's story in 'The Eighty-Yard Run' [2]


  1. ^ Sopena Saber frases celebres
  2. ^ https://www.joefrank.com/shop/80-yard-run-the/

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