Comité Olímpico Español

NameComité Olímpico Español
AbbreviationCOE
Founded1905
CountriesSpain

Description

Several Spanish Olympic committees have existed since 1905, although the fact that several of them had the same name (“Spanish Olympic Committee”) is misleading. The first Spanish national body that tried to coordinate the sport was the so-called “Spanish Gymnastic Federation”, created in 1898 on the initiative of the journalist Narciso Masferrer. This organization disappeared in 1909 without achieving its objectives.

The first Olympic Committee in Spain was the “Spanish Committee of the Olympic Games” founded by the Marquis of Cabriñana del Monte in 1905 in the hope of a Spanish team attending the Intercalated Olympic Games in Athens 1906. This objective was not achieved. Due to his inactivity, a member of the Royal House (Don Carlos de Borbón) forced the replacement in 1909 of Cabriñana by the Marquis de Villamejor (who had been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1902).

During his first years as president of the Spanish committee, Villamejor did not carry out any activity either, and the Spanish absence in Stockholm in 1912 provoked harsh criticism. In November 1912 Villamejor’s brother (the count of Romanones) became head of the government and this encouraged him to set up his executive committee and write to Coubertin. Currently, the COE considers this act as its founding act; in fact, this new committee hardly developed any activity either and disappeared. Villamejor himself would found new Spanish Olympic committees in 1916 and 1919, managing to bring a Spanish delegation to Antwerp in 1920. Villamejor’s death in 1921 caused the disappearance of the committee founded in 1919 and it was not until 1924 that a new Spanish Olympic Committee was founded, this time based in Barcelona.

In 1926 a new COE was created, also in Barcelona, and this was the first to be formally registered, according to Spanish association law. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) caused the disappearance of the Spanish Olympic Committee based in Barcelona and the creation of a new one linked to the single party regime of General Francisco Franco. This new COE was based in Madrid and was part of the government structure, without any autonomy. In fact, until 1984 the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee would always be the secretary of state for Sport.

In 1965 the Olympic Committee of Spain was awarded with the Count Alberto Bonacossa Trophy.

Presidents

Tenure Name Country Notes
1905—1909 Julio Urbina Ceballos-Escalera, Marqués de Cabriñana del Monte ESP
1909—1921 Gonzalo, Marquis de Villamejor ESP
1924—1926 Santiago, Baron de Güell ESP
1926—1931 Eusebio López y Díaz de Quijano, Marqués de Lamadrid ESP
1933—1936 Augusto Pi ESP
1938—1956 José Moscardó Ituarte, Conde del Alcázar de Toledo ESP
1956—1967 José Antonio Elola-Olaso ESP
1967—1970 Juan Antonio Samaranch ESP
1970—1975 Juan Gich Bech de Careda ESP
1975—1976 Tomás Pelayo ESP
1976—1980 Benito Castejón ESP
1980—1983 Jesús Hermida ESP
1983—1984 Roma Cuyas ESP
1984—1987 Alfonso de Borbón y Dampierre, Duque de Cádiz ESP
1987—1998 Carlos Ferrer ESP
1998—2002 Alfredo Goyeneche ESP
2002—2005 José María Echevarría ESP
2005— Alejandro Blanco ESP