НовостиЛента новостейIn memory of Fernando Compte. Founder of the International SAMBO Federation

In memory of Fernando Compte. Founder of the International SAMBO Federation

16.11.2013 21:00

The life of Fernando Compte is a story of a legend. He was the founder and the first President of the International Amateur SAMBO Federation, or FIAS. Compte split off from the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) to set up an independent SAMBO federation and to start international SAMBO extension. 

Carolina Compte Balle, daughter of Fernando Compte: The main thing I learnt from my father is to be a good and honest person who is remembered by the good things he has done. These memories will live on long after you are gone. My mother and I are very proud that no one has ever said a bad word about my father. He taught me to fight for what I love and believe in. He was a fighter. When he was in hospital at the end of his life, he would always smile and shine with happiness every time we brought him articles about SAMBO. So, the most important thing I learnt from him is to fight for the things you love and the things you believe in. 

A man with a big heart, he loved his family and showed his love every single day. This part of his life was not exposed to the public. So, who was Fernando Compte to SAMBO, his family and friends? 

Eva Balle, wife of Fernando Compte: He had come from Barcelona and had been living in Madrid for a long time. He moved to Venezuela but came back. We met each other during a flight to Paris. I was a flight attendant. We started talking and discovered that we have common friends. He was going to Paris for a wedding. He was very happy. It was in 1975. Very long ago.

Eva was at work, she was a flight attendant. At that moment she was happy. Thus, the plane flying to Paris brought together two people who were full of life and energy, people who loved their work and enjoyed travelling. As they say, marriages are made in heaven. This saying proved right in the truest sense of the word for this family that was literally born in heaven. 

Eva Balle, wife of Fernando Compte: He was unbelievably optimistic and kind-hearted. SAMBO was the sense of his life. It made his life incredible exciting. We started dating and got married soon.

Eva Balle and Fernando Compte got married in 1978. They were happy all the 35 years of their marriage. So were their children: eldest son Christian (he is 34 now), Adam and daughter Carolina. The entire family have completely surrendered to Fernando’s passion for SAMBO. 

Carolina Compte Balle, daughter of Fernando Compte: SAMBO is part of my life. It reminds me of my father. Every article, photo or anything related to SAMBO brings up memories of my father. This is all so inspiring. Therefore, everything that has to do with SAMBO is very dear to me. Our house has always looked like a museum to SAMBO: things, books and articles associated with SAMBO were everywhere. Naturally, it is an essential part of my life. 

Eva Balle, wife of the FIAS founder Fernando Compte: Fernando was always young in heart and he never stopped working. He wrote books about SAMBO, we travelled a lot. We have three children; we visited Russia and other countries. He promoted SAMBO, we helped him. In other words, he cultivated a love of SAMBO in everyone around him, including, of course, his family. 

Fernando Compte was born in 1930. In 1974 he was appointed President of the SAMBO Commission at the International Amateur Wrestling Federation. He often arranged competitions and dreamt that one day SAMBO would become an Olympic sport. Fernando Compte split off from FILA and established a separate federation. In 1984 he founded the International Amateur SAMBO Federation in Madrid. It is noteworthy that a Spaniard founded the SAMBO federation, the sport that originated from Russia. He loved not only sport, but also people whom he met thanks to it. Compte had many friends and they never let him down. One of them is Hernán Cortés, an American free-style wrestling champion. Hernán called Compte his best wrestling coach and Spanish athlete. Fernando’s merits and achievements were appreciated in his homeland, including by the country’s leadership. Fernando was honored to meet with a number of outstanding personalities of the time, including Generalissimus Francisco Franco and His Majesty Juan Carlos the First, the King of Spain. However, most of his time he spent with people who were related to SAMBO. One of them was David Rudman. 

David Rudman, FIAS First Vice-President: When Fernando took on SAMBO, it seemed he had been doing it his entire life. He was a Russian language enthusiast. He could make speeches in Russian while preparing for world championships and other competitions. Until his last day he remembered a piece from this speech and could reproduce it in Russian. 

The Compte family was always on the road. They travelled to Russia, America. The trip to Beijing for the SportAccord First World Combat Games left a lot of great memories in their hearts and many photos in the family album. Compte tried to attend all the competitions he could. He was always happy to see his friends. He closely followed all the tournaments despite exhaustion, long-distance flights and advanced age. 

Fernando had to stop travelling when he fell sick in 2011. The wife and children helped him to go through the disease. The last half a year was the hardest for the entire family. Compte was struggling to survive. He lived much longer than the modern medicine predicted. His spirit and love of life astonished the doctors. Fernando’s wife Eva, his children and close friends were always by his side. On 2 September David Rudman and Mikhail Shultz visited him. 

David Rudman, FIAS First Vice-President: We are in the hospital where Fernando Compte was taken to. We wanted to see him and talk to him, but unfortunately we came too late – Fernando cannot talk anymore. He is in a condition when he cannot wake up. But he is alive. We managed to talk to Eva, she told us how Fernando was struggling through the disease. Of course, it is disheartening that we lose the people who established the FIAS and who dedicated their entire lives to it. 

Mikhail Shultz, FIAS President: Fernando Compte’s entire life was dedicated to SAMBO. Of course, we all hoped that we will have an opportunity to talk to him today. It is a pity that we could not. We somehow believed that such a strong and positive person will always be with us. 

David Rudman, FIAS First Vice-President: Fernando is the symbol of international SAMBO. Before Fernando came along, SAMBO had been a sport of the Soviet Union and developed only in the Soviet Union. Fernando advanced this sport into an international level. We got hope that international SAMBO competitions and even the world championship would be held one day. That was a good time. We believed that SAMBO could make it to the Olympic Games, we were about to take part in the Olympic Games 1980. This did not happen, because we did not have a leader at that time. 

Carolina, Compte’s daughter, says that even when the disease kept progressing Fernando was happy to talk about SAMBO, he was glad that the Spanish team took part in the championship. His love of SAMBO was beyond imagination. Fernando saw great prospects for SAMBO in African countries and said that it would gain ground there soon. In other words, he remained a great SAMBO enthusiast throughout his entire life. 

Eva Balle, wife of Fernando Compte: The way he lived and the way he fought made me fall in love with him. He was always young in heart; he was much younger than his real age. 

Fernando Compte passed away on 8 September 2013. Everyone who knew this truly legendary personality is proud of being friends with him. He gave himself entirely to his family and SAMBO, the most important cause of his life. His wife and children closely watch the development of this sport and keep in touch with Fernando’s friends.

Eva Balle, wife of Fernando Compte: SAMBO remains an important part of my life. It gave us an opportunity to see so many beautiful places. I will miss it. I hope that I will be able to attend some competitions; I would really love to maintain contacts with everyone. 

Fernando Compte was a fair, pro-active person with great vibes. His life is a story of honor and truth. He loved what he did, he believed in it and never took advantage of other people to reach his goals. SAMBO enthusiasts around the world have been loyal to Compte’s ideas for nearly 30 years. This feeling passed to Fernando’s family that loves SAMBO the way it is, it was and will be.

In memory of Fernando Compte, founder of the International SAMBO Federation, true friend and loving husband and father.

 
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