STAR SPANISH MATADOR EXPLAINS THE DEADLY ALLURE OF BULLFIGHTING AND THEN IS NEARLY KILLED AS "60 MINUTES" CAMERAS RECORD HIS CRITICAL INJURY - SUNDAY ON CBS
Ernest Hemingway called it "Death in the Afternoon," and for Cayetano Ordonez, one of Spain's top bullfighters, it was almost just that when a 1,300-lb. bull critically injured him during videotaping of a 60 MINUTES segment. Ordonez and his brother Francisco - also a top matador - talk to Bob Simon about the allure of their deadly craft and their illustrious family in a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 19 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In another of his works on bullfighting, "The Dangerous Summer," Hemingway chronicled the greatest fighter of the last 50 years - Antonio Ordonez, the grandfather of Cayetano and Francisco. Many decades later, Cayetano tries to explain what drew his grandfather, father, brother and ultimately, him, into the ring. "You're risking your life and, of course, [the bull is] risking his." Reminded that the bull always dies, Cayetano retorts, "I can die, too. So we create this real personal connection and feeling between us... a conversation with gestures, with time, with movement that you kind of lose reality," says Cayetano, "and you don't care anymore about your physical existence.
"It has to do with the fact that you're closer to death that makes you feel more alive," he tells Simon. Cayetano may never have felt more alive than in a ring in Palencia, Spain, last summer, where he fell backward and one of the largest bulls he ever fought was on him in a flash. Almost as fast as the bull had Cayetano pinned to the ground, his brother Francisco was into the ring and steering the beast away from his brother with his bare hands - all captured by 60 MINUTES cameras. Click here to watch an excerpt.
Francisco fought bulls before his brother ever entered a ring and admits he is still afraid. "I think to have fear is good, because if you don't have fear then you can't be a brave man," he says. He could not resist the call of the ring, despite his mother's attempts to keep him and his brother out of it. "There's no way out. You're trapped. You're trapped inside the bull ring," Francisco tells Simon, "It's in the blood."
Cayetano almost resisted the blood call to be a matador, toying with another profession at first and even now, working as a fashion model for Armani. But he, too, seems inexorably drawn to the dangerous dance. "I have thought about [quitting] but-- it's a very strong sensation, and helps me get to know myself better. Gets me to my limits. And-- that's something special," says Cayetano.
Does a matador have limits? "Well, limits," considers Cayetano. "I guess the limit is when someone dies."