Sports character of the year 2021: Kevin Cordón made history at the Tokyo Olympics

The success obtained in the Olympic jousts, where he caressed the bronze medal, earned him to be chosen Sports Character of 2021 from Prensa Libre, a distinction he received for the second time, since in 2009 he was also chosen for his good results.

“I thank Prensa Libre for giving me the honor of being a Sports Character. When you receive this type of recognition, it commits you to work harder and, above all, to be a better person, “said the 35-year-old athlete.

Cord He lives a very special stage as an athlete and as a person, because with his performance in Tokyo he has won the affection of the people, and in the street they ask for photographs, to which he attends cordially. On social media, his Instagram account tripled, and now he has more than 110,000 followers.

The athlete agreed to talk with Prensa Libre hours after arriving in the country from Huelva, Spain, where he participated in the Badminton World Cup, the last competition of the year, and shared that satisfaction of closing 2021 with mixed feelings, especially for having been so close to an Olympic medal.

“What happened this year was special, because the result in the Olympics had a good impact on society. The message for Guatemalans was that we can all achieve great things professionally, professionally and personally, ”shared the southpaw.

It has been more than 20 years of badminton career and many international successes, since Kevin accumulates four partitions in Olympic games –Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020—, in addition to being a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist in the Guadalajara 2011 and Toronto 2015 editions.

“I like to play badminton and feel that commitment to represent my country. The experience has made me mature, and above all I have learned from good and bad things, which has allowed me to face the competitions with better confidence, “he said.

In Tokyo 2020, was based on two premises to control pressure and negative thoughts: the desire to want to play without comparing oneself with rivals and solve each of the encounters with the heart.

(Free Press Photo: Juan Diego González)

Difficult moments

After the 2013 knee injury, which left him almost out of the sport, in addition to the early departure of the Rio Olympics 2016, the national team remembers that it entered a kind of crisis.

“They were complicated moments, where I claimed to God, to the world, to life, and I did not understand why the results were not given. Later, I realized that it was up to me to stop playing the victim. So that’s when there was a big change in my career as an athlete, ”he highlighted.

He assured that all those moments lived in Tokyo have been a reward for all the difficult moments that he has had to live in sports and in his personal life, especially due to the death of his brother in 2013. “For my family it is a beautiful gift to be enjoying all this. I think we already deserved it, ”he said.

Tokyo surprise

Cordón shared that people began to question how a country in which badminton is not popular, which is poor and third world, was in the final stages. This generated curiosity and the international media began to inquire more, and came to The Union, Zacapa.

“They began to ask me why I trained in a church in my town. Of course I did not respond by pretending to be the victim, but rather because it was my reality due to the covid-19 pandemic, “said Cordón, who won the recognition of his rivals in Tokyo.

In the world of badminton, Asians are the best; nobody can against them. That is why the performance of the Guatemalan in the Olympic Games It was the awakening for the rest of the world that they can be played against that type of rivals.

In the history of the Olympic Games, only seven countries have reached final instances: China, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Denmark, Malaysia and, of course, Guatemala.

Champion cry

“In sports, in Olympic, is that the medal was not achieved, And the end of history. No more can be added. I left satisfied for having reached those instances, but the objective was not achieved, because I have worked for more than 20 years ”, assured the southpaw.

The Guatemalan athlete shared that when the game and the media interviews ended, he stopped for a moment in the tunnel that led him to the locker room and tears came to his eyes. “I cried a lot, I was very sad because there was the medal and it was to be taken, but it was not possible,” he said.

“Later, when I arrived where the rest of the Guatemalan delegation was, I ventured to them and found relief. It was a huge sadness, but then he came to the satisfaction of having managed to reach those instances ”, he added.

Follow the path

The goal for him 2022 for Kevin Cordón will continue to improve in the world ranking. In 2021 he closed it at 42nd place, but he needs to be in the top 35 to play the tournaments in Europe and Asia.

The road is long, but he dreams of arriving in Paris in 2024 and playing his fifth Olympic games. “Everything will depend on whether the injuries allow it, but the desire is present,” he said.

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