Argentina’s women hockey captain celebrate Olympic bronze in her bra

August 23rd, 2008 - 12:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 23 (DPA) Argentine women’s field hockey captain Magdalena Aicega was thrilled as she celebrated the team’s bronze medal in her bra, wrapped only in an Argentine flag.Where was her shirt?

“I gave my shirt to Diego, because he asked me for it. I could not say no to him, it hardly took me a second to take it off,” Aicega said Friday.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona - who encouraged his compatriots in the changing rooms after their painful semifinal loss to the Netherlands - was in the stands Friday.

He was visibly happy when the hockey team, known at home as The Lions (Las Leonas), beat Germany 3-1 to claim Olympic bronze.

This was Aicega’s last game with the national team, and it earned her a third Olympic medal, to add to a silver from Sydney 2000 and a bronze at Athens 2004.

The captain, 34, had good reason to celebrate, and the Argentine flag around her was full of scribbled expressions of good wishes. For many years she has been a tireless defender, a source of physical and psychological encouragement to her team-mates.

“I gave everything to hockey, and hockey gave me everything. This sport is not just about a stick and a ball, it’s also about human values,” she noted.

The woman who was first called up for international duty at 18 knows she could keep playing at the highest level for a while, but believes it is time to call it quits.

“I am leaving for personal reasons more than anything else, given how much time you have to devote to sport. But I will miss all this adrenaline,” she said.

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