Identification of the Active Members of the Spanish Armed Forces who Participated in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics: Study and Analysis of their Sport-Military Characteristics

José Miguel García García

Original Language



The objective of this doctoral dissertation is to identify the active members of the Spanish armed forces who participated in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics in order to study and analyze their sport-military characteristics. To achieve this objective, this study was conducted from the standpoint of the interpretative paradigm, following the historiographic and oral methodologies and using the historical biographical method. This study analyzes and interprets different documents, oral and bibliographic sources and written communications. After this analysis, we found ten people who fit our objective and whose collective biographies provided us with better scholarly knowledge of the sports and military historical context in which they lived. They lived in a country immersed in one of the times of the greatest national and international disgrace; they encountered increasing anti-militarism in society; they participated in activating physical-sport practice in the armed forces; they contributed to promoting membership in sports associations in Spain; and they helped promote the Olympics in the nation. The reasoning and reflection based on the information obtained show that the names of the active military men who participated in the 1920 Olympics were: José Bento López, Antonio Bonilla San Martín, Luis Calvet Sandoz, Jaime Camps Gordon, José de Figueroa y Alonso Martínez, Ignacio Estévez Estévez, Antonio Moreira Montero, Ángel Pradel Cid, Domingo Rodríguez Somoza and León Villarín Cano. The majority were army officers from the infantry; almost all of them reached the Olympics through a national selection process; the majority started practicing the sport in which they competed in the Olympics through the activities they performed in the armed forces; and practically all of them had logistical difficulties in the Olympic sites. They are individuals who made an enormous effort to participate in the most socially prominent sporting event at the time, the Olympics. They became a huge asset because they were able to provide a wonderful image, closeness with society and an admirable example beyond our borders.

Keywords: Biography, History, Military, Olympics, Sport.

ISSN: 2014-0983

Published: October 01, 2018

Date read: December 17, 2015