The Olympian Who Trained in a Catholic Church Parish Hall for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

COGuatemalteco/Twitter/Reprodu莽茫o

Badminton Olympic athlete Kevin Cord贸n made history this week! 馃挭

After defeating the Chinese Angus Ka-Long in badminton, Cord贸n advanced in the Olympic competition. He is close to taking an unprecedented medal to Guatemala.

However, behind the effort on the court is a story of perseverance and resilience.

The athlete who trained in a Catholic Church parish hall to get to the Olympics

The Covid-19 pandemic turned Cord贸n’s life upside down while he prepared for the 2020 Olympics because region’s training center in Zacapa became a field hospital.

The 34-year-old Guatemalan athlete was willing to try everything to achieve his dreams.

And that’s when he found an unusual place to continue his training: the parish hall of St. Francis of Assisi Church, close to where he lived.

鈥淥ne day I took a look at the salon to see what the height, light and space were like. It has the same measurements as a normal court,” Cord贸n said in an ESPN Digital interview.

“So I called the priest and explained that I couldn’t miss the game because I didn’t know when the tournaments started. He didn’t pose any difficulties–just asked me to help with the energy bills and everything.

“So I talked to the mayor and the police and they gave me the go-ahead.”

Cord贸n then made all the necessary adjustments to the site with the support of the Badminton Federation.

鈥淭hey brought me the net and the things I needed to train. So all the equipment came from the capital and we installed it,” Cordon continued. “We adapted it as much as possible to how you train in the federation.”

On August 26, 2020, the Guatemalan National Badminton Federation聽published聽a photo of the athlete and explained that聽the new location had enabled him to continue training for the Olympic Games.

“Badminton player Kevin Cord贸n has two months to seek a physical reconditioning to be in shape for the 2021 season, where the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place,” the post reads.

鈥淶acapaneco moved to a training center that was conditioned to achieve the physical and mental conditioning of the Guatemalan medalist, who聽is among the best badminton players on the continent and is among the top 50 in the world.”

Here’s the photo below:

Federaci贸n Nacional de Badminton de Guatemala, Facebook

How cool! 馃檶

St. Francis of Assisi, please pray for us!

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[See also: Olympian Lifts Up Our Lady鈥檚 Miraculous Medal After Winning Gold Medal for the Philippines]

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Victoria is a journalist and the assistant editor at ChurchPOP Portugu锚s. She loves movies, books, music, theology, politics and... pizza. She writes about random stuff, to match her personal preferences.