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Athletes

Erika
Villaecija
SpainSpain, ESP
Open water

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
02 June 1984
Height
177 cm
Weight
61 kg
Residence
Sant Cugat del Vallès, ESP
Occupation
Coach, Psychologist
Languages
Catalan, English, Spanish
Higher education
Psychology - Autonomous University of Barcelona: Spain

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up swimming at age six.
Why this sport?
She took up the sport to help with her fitness. "It was just random. My mother signed me up for it. I was a little bit overweight and I started at Club Deportivo Horta. There they saw talent in me."

General Interest

Most influential person in career
Coach Joan Fortuny. (jordipress.com, 28 Jul 2016)
Hero / Idol
Russian swimmer Aleksandr Popov, US swimmer Michael Phelps, Italian moto GP rider Valentino Rossi. (almeria2005.coe.es, 29 Jun 2005; sport.es, 15 Jun 2012)
Injuries
In January 2012 she suffered from tendinitis in her left wrist. (bcn2013.com, 24 Jan 2012)

She suffered a bout of pneumonia during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (elconfidencial.com, 02 Aug 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Until you know how to lose, you don't learn how to win. In sport you lose many more times than you win and you have to know how to understand it." (abc.es, 19 Nov 2017)
Awards and honours
She received the Sport and Woman award from the government of Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2018)

She was awarded a Bronze Medal of Sports Merit by the Spanish government in 2011. (marca.com, 14 Sep 2011)

She had the Honorary Title of Civic Distinction bestowed on her by the city of L'Hospitalet, Spain, in 2008. (lhdigital.cat, 28 Apr 2008)

She received an Extraordinary Medal of Sports Merit from the Catalan Swimming Federation in 2005, in Spain. (natacion.com.ar, 08 Feb 2005)
Famous relatives
Her brother Alex has also competed in swimming. (rfen.es, Oct 2016; diariodeleon.es, 05 Apr 2009)
Other information
RETIREMENT
She announced her retirement from competition in November 2018 to become a coach at CN Sabadell and continue her job as a psychologist. (20minutos.es, 05 Nov 2018; isabadell.cat, 05 Nov 2018)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In late 2016 she formed Bevalue Sports with her colleague Maria Gilabert Hernando, a psychologist and coach. "We thought that with our experience we could create an interesting method of work and apply it. That's why Bevalue Sports was born. The idea is to equip swimmers, athletes and clubs with the necessary tools to obtain results. We are talking about managing emotions and preparing goals." (sport.es, 13 Jan 2017; abc.es, 19 Nov 2017)