Being a hyperkinetic girl, only 9 years old, Paula Belén Pareto began practicing Judo at the San Fernando Club. Her indisputable restlessness was noticed by her younger brother’s coach, who invited her to attend his classes.
For his father Aldo, it was important that his children knew how to defend themselves in the event of being physically assaulted. The daughter of a doctor and a lawyer, Paula finished high school at the age of 17 and decided to pursue a degree in Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires.
When she represented the Silver Students Club, it took her three hours to get there, between the train and the bus, she trained for two hours in the afternoon and stayed to sleep at a friend’s. The next morning, another two hours of practice and again the long journey back.
He studied on the train, on the bus, in rallies, or competitions. Once received, she would get up at 5 o’clock to make her residency in a Public Hospital where she would periodically have a 24-hour guard. Always, without stopping training every afternoon at CENARD, on Avenida Libertador and Crisologo Larralde.
With its 48 kgs. in weight and 1.48 meters in height, on August 6, 2016 “La Peque” would become the first Argentine woman in history to be an Olympic champion, by defeating the Korean Bokyeong Jeong in the final in the Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro.
She had previously won a bronze medal in Beijing 2008, an Olympic diploma in London 2012, and was a World Champion in 2015 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Between the Rio and Tokyo games, he specialized in traumatology and is currently doing sports medicine at the UBA.
The secret of the “judoctora” is to squeeze every minute of the day. As she herself confesses: “I was not gifted, but I did sit for hours to study and I did put in extra hours of training and extra hours of study. The message I can give is simply to try it and find what you like ”.
Pareto places great importance on order. He says: “Always the month before starting, by December, I already organized myself: how many exams did I have, what subjects did I have, how long did they last and what tournaments did I have, on what dates. So there he already organized everything that was the year ”.
Breaking with the traditional Pareto chart that allows determining irregularities in an organization, identifying its points of improvement and defining what is the primary plan of action to attack its losses, the Argentine homonymous states: “You always have to give 100% of each at the moment that is your 100%. Today I try to be better than yesterday ”.
In that intelligence, during the quarantine, the videos that showed her training, with what little she had, in the meager laundry room of her department, went viral.
In Tokyo 2021, with 35 years of age, she was chosen to enter the Olympic Stadium for being a medical athlete, carrying the white flag that has the five Olympic rings stamped; together with other athletes. of the same condition, of the remaining continents.
Pareto’s sporting record and his professional development could presuppose an egomaniacal stereotype, but the Little one amazes by the simplicity of his expressions and the good-naturedness reflected in his gestures.
It is very rare to observe an athlete who has just been dethroned, as happened with the Peque on the day of his elimination in Tokyo, lift his rival acknowledging his triumph. Even less so that when she arrived at the town, after the announcement of her Olympic retirement, she was received by the entire Argentine delegation, who stood waiting for her with endless applause.
In times when education is so undervalued, our president defends a teacher who humiliates her students and there are doubts among young people about the best way to go, a tiny woman with a physique, but owner of an implacable will, we show other possible trails.
In athletes of the stature of Pareto, Ginobili, Scola or Messi, perhaps our young people will find a source of inspiration to be better. A beacon where to direct your steps.