Queen Sofia presided Thursday at the Spanish Embassy in London at a reception to support her country's Olympic team, an event attended by a large group of athletes and figures from the political, economic and cultural spheres of both nations.

Besides Ambassador Federico Trillo-Figueroa, on hand were Princess Pilar, King Juan Carlos's sister; the president of the Higher Sports Council, Miguel Cardenal; Madrid Mayor Ana Botella; Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco; and Spanish lawmaker Miriam Blasco, who won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Trillo emphasized the pride he felt, as Madrid's envoy in London, regarding the queen's presence "which is a boost for the Olympic spirit of the participants."

The ambassador wished the Spanish athletes success in their Olympic contests and ended his remarks in English with the traditional "God save the Queen."

Blanco thanked the queen for always backing Spanish sports and he emphasized that "the Spanish team will put forth the maximum effort at the Games."

Present at the reception were outstanding members of the Spanish economic, cultural and journalism community based in London, including Ana Patricia Botin, CEO of the British subsidiary of Spain's largest bank, Santander.

Among the representatives from Britain on hand for the ceremony were Miriam Clegg, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, outstanding Hispanists such as Hugh Thomas and J.H. Elliott, and prominent figures from British finance, culture and media. EFE