"Soccer continues to give us incredible moments"
The tournament director, Iñigo Olaizola, takes stock of the 30th anniversary of the Donosti Cup.
- What is your assessment of this year's edition?
I think the balance is very positive. On the one hand we have been able to cope with a new growth in participation, and on the other hand we have been able to recover the true essence of the Donosti Cup with the presence of numerous foreign teams and with a more complete program of activities than ever. Logically, we were afraid of surpassing the figure of 750 participating teams because we knew the responsibility that it implied, but at no time we have had the feeling of being surpassed or not being able to control the competition. The challenge has been enormous, but we believe that we have overcome it with a very good grade.
- Has the 30th edition lived up to your expectations?
I would say that it has been the most complete edition of all those we have held to date. From the announcement of the poster contest and the T-shirt design to the awards ceremony, the 30th anniversary celebration has been present in all the events we have organized. We have given each participant a commemorative medal, the inauguration has been the most powerful in the history of the tournament, there was a live performance and fireworks at the farewell party, and the finishing touch has been the celebration of the finals at the Reale Arena.
- What has been the most exciting moment?
There have been many, but perhaps I would highlight three. The whole audience at the inauguration stood up to welcome the inclusive teams; the words of the MOMIM coordinator in her farewell yesterday afternoon; and the improvised dinner last night at the Pake Leku residence with the Gaza players. Soccer continues to give us incredible moments.
- What did it mean to bring back the opening ceremony?
It was undoubtedly one of the best news of this edition. Last year we were able to celebrate the tournament with quite a few teams but for prudence we decided not to celebrate the inauguration and we felt that something was missing. That is why this year it has been so special to have been able to celebrate again the Opening Ceremony of the tournament, which also gathered more than 17,000 people, a real record for us. I think that both participants and spectators enjoyed a night that will go down as one of the most beautiful moments in the history of the Donosti Cup.
- And to celebrate the finals at the Reale Arena again?
Well, another great news. For the teams to play in a 1st division stadium is an incredible experience and to do it in the Reale Arena even more. On Friday and yesterday there were beautiful scenes and the teams could not believe it when they came out of the tunnel and found themselves in such a stadium. In this sense, I would like to thank Real Sociedad for having opened the doors of the Reale Arena and for the magnificent treatment we have received during the whole week.
- The consolidation of the Authentics Cup, is it one of the great news of this year?
Yes, it is. Seeing them parade at the inauguration was a real thrill. Their gestures, their reactions, the energy they transmitted was very exciting. And seeing them play, with that passion, with that intensity, and at the same time with that tenderness and joy, was one of the best things we experienced in that edition. It was also beautiful the match for integration, where the MOMIM players mixed with the children of the Mindara Association, and gave us another of the most exciting moments of this edition.