click picture

Juan Bautista Adarraga (son)

National Champion. 800 m. Berazubi (Tolosa)

Carmen Adarraga (daughter)
Captain, Spanish National Team, Basketball


Agustin Adarraga (son)
Trophy "Excma Diputacion de Gipuzkoa 1959"
Paleta con pelota de cuero

Luis Adarraga-Gorrochategui
click pictures to enlarge


 Luis Adarraga Gorrochategui, the eldest of five brothers and one sister, was born in Hernani (Gipuzkoa) Basque Country, Spain, on the 16 August 1888. He and his brothers Jose, Javier and Ramon and his sister Maria were pioneers of sport in Guipuzcoa, in spite of the disliking of their father, Don Jose and in a rather sceptical atmosphere in the Basque Country which would not approve easily new foreign games. They cycle, were mountaineers, played pelota, soccer, any sport. They even participated in bullfighting in country town festivals.

     Maria, the sister, was the first woman to ride a bicycle in Hernani, despite the whole town, including the priest, condemnation her for riding a bicycle “like a man". She had found it very difficult to ride the bicycle without exposing her ankles, which was considered as a sexual provocation in those days.  Her brother Luis defended her before the local priest by predicting that soon, the nuns would ride one of them.

     The Adarragas had to endure unpleasant remarks for their attitude to sports. The town folks could not understand why they would, come Sunday, sweat climbing Adarra, like the betizus (wild mountain cows) or ride  like monkeys, these contraptions called bicycles, in preference to relax at the fronton like all other people, watching a few pelota matches while drinking “chiquitos” (wine glass)

    After a while the triumphs of the Adarragas and the popularity and publicity they created for Hernani, made them change their minds.

    Luis was an outstanding cyclist and among others he won the First Vasco-Navarro (Basque Country) "Tour" in 1912. He was also a good soccer player and he played for Club Fortuna of Irun, against the Atletico de Bilbao, at the Inaugural soccer match of the “San Mames” soccer stadium.

   His “Rudge – Witworth” racing bicycle which weighted 15 kg, had one fixed gear, and therefore he had to select one according to average incline of the race terrain. The spare tube was carried at the back like a rucksack, crossed at the back. He carried a "watch", a pocket clock, held in a specially cut leather frame that allowed him to wear it like a modern wristwatch. There was another important item he had to carry with him, a pistol, for his defense from the opposition threats. He decided to carry one after he was the victim of a deliberately provoked car accident that put him in Hospital. I remember my father explaining his decision, "can you see this, referring to the pistol.  "If you tried to stop me, he will threaten his ”enemies”, I'll discharge the whole magazine on you".  Add to all that that the roads were not as smooth as they are today.

   At his father's insistence, at the early age of 24, the best cyclist in the Basque Country and probably in Spain had to exchange his bicycle, for an Indian motorcycle with sidecar, presented by his father who thought, like many Basques, that to practice sports was a waste of time and energy.

    He married Benita Elizaran Ugalde, also from Hernani and raised a family of 12 which would satisfy, eventually, his pioneer spirit. He received, posthumously, the Gold Medal of Sports for his and his family’s contribution to the Spanish sports sports.

   The Adarragas are now a big family that has expanded past the borders of EuskalErria (Basque Country) and Spain and cover four generations of sportspeople.

 For a detail account of his triumphs, I refer you to his diary.


Fernando Adarraga
National Recordman  pole-vaulting


Jose Luis Adarraga

National Recordman Pentatlon


Bernardino Adarraga
Decathlon. Gold and Record
Mediterranean Games