From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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
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
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
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