Big dreamer Solera off to winning start with Youth Olympic mixed team gold

15 October 2018
Buenos Aires (ARG)
Jose Manuel became Spain’s first Youth Olympic Games medallist in Buenos Aires.

Jose Manuel Solera won Spain a gold medal in the mixed nation mixed team competition at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires when he delivered his final arrow on Sunday afternoon.

Paired with France’s Kyla Touraine-Helias, the duo dispatched a mixed team from Argentina and Thailand in the final – despite the full stands giving obvious support to their opponents.

"It was unbelievable. Before coming here you think like ‘oh I’m going to the Youth Olympics, how cool is that’, but from there to win a medal, is just incredible. I still don’t believe it,” he said.

“The Youth Olympic Games are an incredible experience. Being able to represent my country makes me proud, it’s something unique, unforgettable.”

“This is the maximum an archer of my age can aspire to, so it’s the best preparation for a Summer Olympics.”

Jose Manuel is 17 and competing in only his second competition abroad at these Games. He took up the sport because of his father – who is also an archer – and wants to take it all the way.

“Ever since I started, I’ve been growing arrow by arrow. I dream to be one of the best archers in the world and for that, you have to work and work hard until you definitely get it. I’m doing that,” he said.

The outgoing, positive young man is incredibly driven. Something says these Youth Olympic Games isn’t the last we’ll see of Solera.

“A few years ago I was one of those kids that might be thinking if it’s possible and now, look, I’m here in Buenos Aires with a gold medal,” he said.

“Fight, fight hard for what you like because everything is possible.”

The third edition of the Youth Olympic Games takes place on 12-17 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.