Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sporting Unknowns: Alvarez Pibiera

The history of sport is filled with triumph and tragedy. Some players are born destined for greatness; others have to work their way up through lifelong struggles to ultimately reach the top. But for every one of those sports stars who do make it to the pinnacle of their sport, there are hundreds — no, perhaps thousands — of others who were just as talented but sadly ended up thrown out along the wayside either due to injury, their personal characteristics or, most regrettably simply the cruel vagaries of life.

These are the ones who are blessed with talent in abundance but simultaneously cursed with the lack of the opportunity to bring that talent to fruition. 

I came across one such name when I was visiting Spain recently. 

Alvarez Raul Mollinedo Pibiera was born sometime in 1915 in the town of Palma on the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain. He was the youngest of 4 children but we are not sure of his birth date as his Hernando Pibiera father was away fighting in WWI and his birth was never registered. In fact, he would never see his father as he went missing in action during the war and was presumed dead. He was raised by his mother Jacinta and his stepfather whom she remarried in 1920.

As a kid, Pibiera showed great proficiency for all sorts of athletic activities but his favourite sport was football. Football had already taken off in Spain by the 1920's following their silver medal at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. Pibiera grew up admiring footballers like Ricardo Zamora & Santiago BernabĂ©u. By 1934 he was playing for the local club Real Mallorca but he wanted to move to the mainland where the bigger clubs and more chance for success lay, but sadly there were no offers. 

Pibiera's main quality as a sportsman was his blistering speed and it turned out this was noticed not by the football coaches but instead by one Javier Gonzales who was an athletics coach. He offered Pibiera the chance to move to Barcelona and train with the Spanish national athletes. Pibiera jumped at the opportunity and within a year was considered one of the fastest sprinters in the country.

He was selected to take part in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and was considered a medal favourite for the 100 and 200 meters. However, once again fate would play a cruel hand as General Franco's Nationalists started the Spanish Civil War and Pibiera who had Republican connections was dropped from the squad and one year later found himself in prison.

He was released at the end of the war in 1939 and immediately got back to his athletic training, but soon afterward WWII started and sporting opportunities quickly dried up. He suffered an injury to his right leg in a battle in 1941 and that was the end of his sporting career.

The name Alaverz Pibiera was soon forgotten by all but the most hardcore of Spanish sports fans. His only legacy is a small street in Palma, Mallorca that is named in his honour. Pibiera died a relative unknown in 1959 at the young age of 44. His story will always remain one of what-could-have been.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Time Will You Be Home Tonight, Honey?

There's also point on the X-axis (that's the horizontal one, people) beyond which the official "time you spend at work" is not really the "time you spend at work", if you know what I mean. Things start to get rather messy at that point onward.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When You Have Nothing To Say...

I'm trying to figure out where "ohk" slots in. Any others that you personally hate?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

To Look or Not to Look?

Sometimes people are going to ask you questions. You're going to have to answer them. However, here's the catch—in some cases you must absolutely not "look" before answering. And in other cases, it's extremely important that you do look.

To help you out, here are some examples.

If you need a very broad thumb rule, it would be this. If the questioner is a girl, you're better off not looking. If it's a guy, you probably should look.

The final example actually happened to me the other day, and true enough, the guy did look. Unfortunately, it was at the girl and not my teeth.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is There Anybody Out There?

Hey guys (and lovely women too)! Does anyone still watch this space? Signing into Blogger after more than a year sort of gives me the creeps. But I do want to start blogging again!

I hate to say it but it feels like the creativity (and boy there was some insanely crazy made-up fantasy in a lot of the early posts on this blog) has all been sucked out of me. I feel jaded. However, I do have some ideas and reading some of the old posts makes me want to start again.

I just might. Fingers crossed etc.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New DUI Test for Girls

Anyone heard about the new sobriety test that they've come up with for girls? The policeman stops the car, asks the girl driving to come out and then plays a random song from 10 years ago for her. If she doesn't scream, "Hey! I love that song!" she's probably not drunk.

Oh, they play three songs to avoid the possibility of a false arrest because she actually likes the song.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Click, Send, Goddammit!

Gmail now has a setting that allows you to "undo" sending an e-mail for up to a few seconds after you click "Send". At first I thought, "Just a few seconds? What difference is that ever going to make!" But as you can see from this chart, that's all you really need. No?

(P.S.: Same applies for blog posts really, but at least I can always click "Edit" with those!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Headlight Rant

I'm not sure why people drive with their headlights on full beam even in the city? Surely this cannot be because they don't realize what a pain this is to oncoming traffic. They have oncoming traffic that is coming right on to them! And the first thing they ought to notice is that they cannot see anything because of the headlights of others! And that, I would tend to believe, ought to be their cue to dim their own lights.

But this just does not happen.

Hence I can only conclude that people have NO idea that there even are two levels for their headlights.

So in public interest, let me inform all of you who drive cars that your lovely automobile comes with the option of selecting between not just one, but TWO levels, for your headlights when driving. There's "High" and then there's "Low". And when you are driving in areas (like most parts of the city) where there are street lights and other sources of surrounding illumination, you do NOT need the "High". Yes, this may come as a complete shock to you, but it is possible to see quite well without it!

When you drive on "High", you are not only signaling to the rest of the world that you are an Asshole but are also likely to be the cause of trouble to someone else who cannot even see the freaking road because you have blinded them and hence drives straight into some idiot who just happens to be cycling right in the middle of the street. (For the record, this did NOT happen to me.)

Of course, it is quite possible that people actually know that they have the option of the dipper, but don't give a rat's ass either way about anyone else. These people definitely exist, and they're the same kinds that break queues or yell on their cell phones in public places. But I would like to believe that ignorance is the reason behind this particular failure of humanity rather than sheer apathy. The first can possibly be cured, the second, unlikely.

Monday, April 20, 2009

This Is Not A Good Sign

When the line between reality and satire gets this thin, it's time to start running for the hills. You have been warned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Like, Doood, Really....

The "Dude" Count is also affected by one other unrelated factor—Goa. It increases drastically when the speaker happens to be in Goa. I suppose it is theoretically possible for someone who is very stoned and in Goa, to narrate an entire story solely with the use of the word "Dude".