Badminton Olympic athlete Kevin Cordón made history this week! 💪
After defeating the Chinese Angus Ka-Long in badminton, Cordón 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 Cordón’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.
“One 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,” Cordón 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.”
Cordón then made all the necessary adjustments to the site with the support of the Badminton Federation.
“They 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 published a photo of the athlete and explained that the new location had enabled him to continue training for the Olympic Games.
“Badminton player Kevin Cordón 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.
“Zacapaneco moved to a training center that was conditioned to achieve the physical and mental conditioning of the Guatemalan medalist, who is among the best badminton players on the continent and is among the top 50 in the world.”
Here’s the photo below:
How cool! 🙌