In the process of evolution of this country, women’s sport – the sport that held up the Spanish flag in the Olympic Games during the crisis – has not found harmony in the momentum it should have had. Without a persistent common policy, the milestones achieved in its social implantation, especially in football, have been the product of a make-up. Suddenly, record-breaking stadium sell-outs have been sold with great fanfare, and the following week, there was no trace of the celebrations and the women footballers in the top flight were once again being cheered on by friends and family. It gives the impression that a solid structure has not been built to lay a foundation on which to build true equality of opportunity.
The arrival of the Solheim Cup, the most important women’s event ever held in Spain, although some advocate the 2018 Basketball World Cup, should be the pivot on which a more sincere and more credible policy of support for the sector should be built. It will be a test for the maturity of this country, which is used to free everything, especially when it comes to women’s sport, and which now has to value one of the great spectacles that exist on a universal level.
The two consecutive exploits of the European troops, well led by Catriona Matthews, created the climax the competition needed. So superior had United States been in the past that the competition needed such an energetic response to raise the atmosphere. Now there is a climate of anxiety, of a desire for sporting revenge, of fear, of sweat on the palms of the hands before the first shot on the tee… The spirit that now pervades each of the players is what has to be transmitted to the spectator, who is in need of emotions. Above all, the Solheim Cup is a big party.
The media should also approach it as a challenge. The amount of information on women’s sport that is generated, as a percentage of men’s sport, is not much higher than at the dawn of modern sports journalism, in the era of Arantxa and Conchita, when they were the only ones who appeared on the front pages. It is not an evil exclusive to Spain, it is widespread in most cultures: either you win or you don’t make the news. The Solheim Cup, as a spectacle, in view of its last two outcomes, has given ample proof that there are few competitions as intense as this one.
There is a point that only the Solheim Cup, in addition to the Ryder Cup, provides. It is the European group feeling. In times of change, of Brexit, even 12 players are still united under one flag. While the world is going nowhere, they are a redoubt of perfect coexistence. Let us take note of this: united we are stronger.