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Martin López-Zubero
Personal information
Full name Martín López-Zubero Purcell
Nationality  Spain
Stroke(s) Backstroke
Club Club Náutico Sabadell
College team University of Florida
Date of birth 23 April 1969 (1969-04-23) (age 40)
Place of birth Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 78 kilograms (170 lb)

Martín López-Zubero Purcell (born 23 April 1969 in Jacksonville, Florida) is a former backstroke swimmer with Spanish-American citizenship, who was born in the United States but competed for Spain. He's most famous for winning the gold medal in the 200 m backstroke in front of his home crowd at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Swimming became the sport of his family, and at the age of eleven, he saw his older brother David win the Olympic bronze medal in the 100 m butterfly at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. His sister Julie was also an Olympian, competing for Spain.

López-Zubero progressed as an age-group swimmer. He competed for coach Greg Troy at Bolles School and coaches Randy Reese and Skip Foster at the University of Florida. His brother David was always there as his personal coach. Ron Ballatore coached him at the Florida Aquatic Swim Team (FAST), post university level.

On the international scene, López-Zubero competed on three Summer Olympic teams – 1988, 1992, and 1996. He was 11th in the 200 m backstroke at the Seoul Olympics of 1988, but came back four years later in Barcelona to capture the gold medal. At these 1992 Olympic Games, he was also 4th in the 100 m backstroke and 7th in the 100 m butterfly. Again in Olympic competition four years later in Atlanta, Georgia, he finished 4th in the 100 m backstroke and 6th in the 200 m backstroke.

López-Zubero was a two-time world champion, winning the 200 m backstroke at the 1991 World Aquatic Championships in Perth, Western Australia and the 100 m backstroke at the 1994 World Aquatic Championships in Rome, Italy. He won the bronze medal for the 100 m backstroke in 1991 and the silver medal for the 200 m backstroke in 1994. He is a five-time European champion, winning the 100 m backstroke in 1989 (Bonn), 1991 (Athens), 1993 (Sheffield) and 1997 (Seville). He was the 200 m backstroke gold medalist in 1991 and silver medalist in 1993.

López-Zubero won the 100 m and 200 m backstroke at the Goodwill Games of 1990 and 1994. He and his brother David are only the fourth set of brothers to win Olympic medals in swimming competition, the others being Duke and Samuel Kahanamoku and Warren and Pua Kealoha of the 1920s, and Bruce and Steve Furniss of the 1970s.

López-Zubero graduated from the University of Florida in 1998, with a degree in health and human performance and recreation. He is the age group swimming coach at the Bolles School and has been the Florida Age Group Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2002.

He is also now the father of Lilly Zubero and is happily married.

See also

References

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