With the saber raised high: “I want to go and win, otherwise why am I going?”

Our appointment with Lucía is on a Monday. He got up at 7 in the morning – like almost every day – and he doesn’t like to get up early. It’s 3pm and he confesses that he has already cried today. Plus, she’s tired. Maybe because she gets up early, maybe because her medication for her epilepsy makes her feel so heavy, or maybe because the season is getting long. The day to day “It is exhausting because it has a lot of intensity and is a bit mentally draining, but if it is what you live for and what you like, it is not as tiring”, he confesses smiling. The laziness disappears when you put on the headphones. A list of spotify “random” that dances during the warm-up.

Lucía Martín-Portugués poses for MARCA before training.Joseba Arroyo

And despite everything we have listed, Lucía is pure energy. “My dream is to get up every day and train in the sport I like”, he confesses. They train from Monday to Friday, three days in a double session and with Friday afternoons off. “As we compete a lot, we don’t usually train on weekends”. Motivation, in an Olympic year, is plenty. “I’m excited. I still don’t know very well how to deal with this fact of Olympic qualification after so many years. I’m pretending that it’s not that important of an event because it’s a competition that I want to win, but I think if I start making it so big in my mind it’s going to be a much bigger challenge than it really is.. They are the same people I compete with almost every weekend. It is true that it is a slightly different event, with many sports and many distractions, so I am trying to control that part a little with my psychologist,” he explains.

How to be better when you are already very good?

The challenge for Lucía and any athlete is to be better every day. To do this, each one follows their path. “Lucía Martín-Portugués does a lot of concentration and attention exercises. In the technical part of fencing I am very bad, but strategically and in my way of competing I am very good”. The details are polished by “the magician, the architect of all this”, Jose Luis Alvarezthe coach who has brought great success to Spanish fencing in the last four years and who “is dedicated to polishing those details that make you win or lose.”

We are neither so bad when we lose, nor so good when we win

Lucía Martín-Portugués

To improve you also have to train your mind. “The most important days psychologically are the red days in which nothing works for you and nothing works. The more times you train in that state of mind, the easier it is to control it if it happens to you in competition. Now, when something doesn’t work out for me, I think it’s personal growth. We are neither so bad when we lose, nor so good when we win; It’s just that some days we make better decisions than others.but we are always the same person,” she reflects. She connects to the competition with music. “Sometimes I have seen people recording me before competitions because I start dancing.” We attest, with what we saw in training, If the fencing thing doesn’t go well, we can talk about his future in the world of dance.

Lucía, during a training session with María VenturaJoseba Arroyo

His first Games, close to home

His first Games will come when he is about to turn 34. When she looks back, he would tell the girl that one day she had to have “more patience, let herself be advised and believe in herself, that dreams come true.” Now, Lucía does not feel pressure for what is coming. Although in fencing it is almost easier to win an Olympic medal than to qualify for the Games, the fencer assures that “the expectations that other people may have for me do not generate as much pressure as the one I put on myself.”

Motivation abounds. Paris is almost like playing at home and you will notice it. “There is no room in the Big palace for all the people who want to come see me. It’s being terrifyingly good. It will be beautiful to look at the stands and see that those people are there for you. I want to go and win, because if not, why am I going?” We take note.


Davide Piano

An experienced journalist with an insatiable curiosity for global affairs on newshubpro

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