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Athletes

Javier
Illana
SpainSpain, ESP
Male
Diving

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
12 September 1985
Height
175 cm
Weight
71 kg
Residence
Montreal, QC, CAN
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English, Spanish
Higher education
Sports Management - University of Deusto: Bilbao, ESP

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began diving at age eight.
Why this sport?
"I started diving because I was scared of it, for the adrenaline it generates. And then I was amazed watching [Spanish diver] Chemi Gil. I wanted to be like him."

General Interest

Nicknames
Javi (Athlete, 20 Mar 2007)
Hobbies
Playing video games. (Twitter profile, 16 Nov 2016)
Hero / Idol
Italian motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi, Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso, Russian diver Dmitri Sautin. (Athlete, 20 Mar 2007; publico.es, 17 Aug 2008)
Injuries
Since late 2014 he has been troubled by pains in his back associated with a degenerative disease called ankylosing spondylitis, which limits his performance at training and competitions. At first it was misdiagnosed as a fissure in his sacrum [lower back] in February 2015 and was forced out of competition for six weeks. After that he continued suffering with pain until doctors found the actual problem. (elmundo.es, 09 Feb 2016; Facebook page, 07 Feb 2015)

In February 2013 he missed a two weeks of training because of a lumbar contracture. (bcn2013.com, 31 Mar 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I don’t focus on the judges or the points, I always want to produce my best dive. It’s my way of life. If you don’t risk anything you will never find out how far you can get." (bcn2013.com, 31 Mar 2013)
Other information
GAMER
He is an enthusiastic video gamer. In 2017 he became a coach of the eu4ia gaming team. “A professional player of a video game can earn much more than most athletes. They work in teams of five, with an analyst and a technician. I think I can benefit from my time in high level competition.” (republica.com, 27 Feb 2017; elmundo.es, 09 Feb 2016)

ILLNESS
He suffers from a degenerative disease called ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that attacks the spine. "The joints and ligaments that allow the spine to move swell and vertebrae solidify. It hurts a lot and sometimes I cannot sleep with the pain. It can lead to paralysis and has no cure, but you can manage to live normally and with proper treatment effects are alleviated. The problem is that I suffer a lot while diving; I feel a lot of pressure in my back and the entry in the water is very aggressive, so any mistake can be dangerous.” (elmundo.es, 09 Feb 2016)

BOOK
In 2016 he wrote a book called “No es el cuerpo, es la mente” [It is not your body, it is your mind] in which he talks about psychological techniques which can help to overcome adversities, and the way he is dealing with his illness, based on his experiences, after his grandmother passed away in 2013. (elmundo.es, 09 Feb 2016; shangay.com, 02 Mar 2016)

TV SHOW
He has worked as a diving coach for a reality TV show called "Mira quien salta!" [Look who jumps] broadcast on Spain's channel Tele 5. (bcn2013.com, 25 Feb 2013; mundodeportivo.com, 21 Jan 2016)