“My father wanted me to sign up for any sport that was a team sport, swimming was more solitary, but I didn’t pay much attention to him,” he explains. Hugo González, a 25-year-old swimmer from Mallorca. And what a success. Today he is one of the best of his generation and his name, for sure, will be heard a lot in the Paris Olympics.

González, of a Spanish father and a Brazilian mother, is the Current world champion in the 200-meter backstroke and runner-up in the 100 metres. He achieved this last February at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

“It never occurred to us that he could reach the levels he is at now,” his father said. Behind the medaldocumentary by Atresmedia which collects the stories of four elite athletes on his way to the Olympic dream, which you can now watch on Atresplayer and above these lines.

Along with Gonzalez, Ana Peleteiro, Sara Andres and Joel Plata They tell their story of overcoming and resilience in a production that has had the support of YoPRO, Danone’s high-protein dairy product range.

Champion since childhood

Hugo’s story is one of innate talent that has been accompanied by a lot of work. He trains daily between five and six hoursBut as a child he won a medal at the world championships. His early victories made him think of going further: “I started thinking about the United States.”

And there he went. His first coach across the pond was Sergi LopezVirginia Tech coach and Olympic medalist, who knew for a fact the moment he saw him swim: “You saw him swim and you said ‘he’s a genius.'”

Both teammates and coaches have heaped countless praise on the Mallorcan. Jose Ignacio Gonzalez Tajahis current coach in Spain, is one of them: “From the first moment you see Hugo swimming you know that he is going to do something above the rest.”

However, the documentary reflects that not everything was a bed of roses and that the young man also had a moment of pause: “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do”he says. The lack of support in that sport made him wonder if it was “worth it” to put in so much effort.

Hugo González, in 'Behind the medal'.

At Cal, his new team at the University of Berkeley (California), he works with the best in the world: “Train with the best “It makes you better,” says Hugo. His teammates in the pool do not hide their admiration: “He pushes me a lot every day, especially this year, he’s swimming very well and he’s pushing me a lot,” says Ryan Murphy, four-time Olympic champion.

“Hugo has done a lot for swimming, not just in the US, but globally,” said Destin Lasco, a swimmer on his team. “He always wants to be the best,” added Marcos Rico, another of his teammates.

Today he has found a balance between his training in the United States and Spain“Coming home and seeing my family recharges my batteries,” he says.

Hugo González, Spanish swimmer and world champion in the 200m backstroke.

As in the case of the rest of the athletes, and as the documentary highlights, the family support has been essential for Hugo González to get this far. ‘Behind the Medal’, 45 minutes long, reflects the sacrifice of the families of elite athletes, an effort that is often invisible to the rest of society.