The indestructible golden warrior

Carolina Marín excitedly celebrates a new European championship. / efe

Carolina Marín achieves her sixth consecutive European badminton title eleven months after suffering a serious injury that kept her from the Games

Laura González

She has come back as if she hadn’t really left, as if everything had been a nightmare, proclaiming herself once again, and for six consecutive years, the best badminton player in the entire continent. And furthermore, Carolina Marín has done it in an overwhelming way, beating the Scottish Kirsty Gilmour 21-10 and 21-12, eleven months after tearing the cruciate ligament in her left knee -and the two menisci- and saying goodbye so much to the Olympic Games and the World Cup held in his native Huelva. An indestructible warrior who yesterday was covered in gold again.

A stellar reappearance at the Gallur Municipal Sports Center, in Madrid, together with his family and friends. “Victory is having competed again,” he declared already with the medal. Undoubtedly. Her usual cry of rage and happiness after adding the last and definitive point resounded much more this time, coming from inside her, before giving free rein in the form of tears to the tension that the triple world champion had accumulated since she broke in the most inopportune moment.

At 28 years old, he has once again achieved glory, giving the world another lesson in resilience, a word that he has tattooed on his body, and from which he has made his flag. The woman from Huelva decided to return with an improved version and despite all the obstacles, which have not been few, she has achieved it. «I have shown that the knee and the injury have passed. I am very full of energy and confidence », she confessed after winning the European Championship.

His motto ‘I can because I think I can’ has taken him to the top again. Since her first victory in 2014, she has overcome all the hard setbacks that have wanted to knock her down, showing that she has no rival on or off the track. In 2019, she recovered against the tear of the cruciate ligament in her right knee, in order to reach the Tokyo Games. An Olympics in which she intended to revalidate the gold achieved in Rio de Janeiro but that never came for her, since they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and when they resumed last year, her other knee, after a bad turn while training, It broke two months before the big date. In between, her father passed away.

Mental work since I was a child

Three horrible years for Marín in which she has managed not to break down mentally, thanks above all to the work she has been doing with sports psychologists since she was a teenager, when she left Huelva at the age of 14 to settle in the High Performance Center in Madrid. This allows him to deal with blows and manage her emotions more effectively.

This last injury, the most serious of his career, came to question his future, but he soon became aware that his next Games would be in Paris 2024, convincing his body of this, which once again responded perfectly, with special sessions to maintain muscle mass. She did it without forcing herself and dedicating time to herself, enjoying weekends with her family and her friends, something unthinkable in her usual routine.

A journey in which he also had to fight against a cyst in the operated meniscus and against covid, which kept him unemployed for a month. Adversities that against him have given him time to improve all his weapons, polishing his game and reinforcing his already vigorous mental strength, with which he hopes to continue enlarging his legend.


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