Dolores Moreira arrives in Tokyo stronger and with one goal: “To sail, enjoy and try to leave Uruguay on top”

Dolores Moreira arrives in Tokyo stronger and with one goal: "To sail, enjoy and try to leave Uruguay on top"

The Dolores Moreira that will compete in Tokyo 2020 It is not the same that with just 17 years old, she arrived in Rio 2016 almost without expecting it. More mature, with a different preparation from the psychological point of view and with much study of the conditions that she will have to face in Japanese waters, the sailor arrives at the Olympic Games with the dream of hitting the ground running and she talked about it with ESPN.

Within hours of making her debut in the first of the ten qualifying races that make up her radial laser modality, Lola said that she arrived in Japan happy and eager to face this challenge. The Sanducera athlete made several trips to that country since her participation in the last Olympics ended, in which she tried to collect as much data as possible for the maximum appointment, although that does not mean that she necessarily has planned all the scenarios that may happen in regattas. “All the times we came were at different times of the year and the conditions are totally different. We usually come in October when it doesn’t stop raining. Once we were here for a month and for the whole month we had three sunny days. We also had land winds, and now, all these days we have had wind from outside, from the ocean, so it is completely different ”, he explained.

The variables at the climatic level cause modifications from the preparation and the strategy, although ultimately everything is decided by the decisions that Lola makes when she is in the water. That key aspect in the mentality of an athlete, the sailor has been working on it a lot since her adolescence, when “she was very horny and if I made a mistake, I kept that in my head and did not get out of that”, according to counted. “We have been doing work with sports psychologists. It is a sport in which ultimately Many decisions are made in a matter of seconds, where many variables enter and where, ultimately, you are always going to make a mistake, but the issue is to minimize them”, He indicated. For her, the secret of success in this aspect is to automate movements, and that the head should only focus on taking advantage of advantages that may arise and anticipating what the competitors will do.

Moreira was sincere when he said that qualifying for Rio 2016 was not expected at that time, and that his goal, since then, was to qualify for Tokyo. “I did not imagine in 2016 being able to qualify for Rio. I had been thinking of making time to qualify for Tokyo and to be able to represent Uruguay. Luckily it happened that we were already there in Rio and I had the first experience of what the Olympic Games were. This time I arrive with much more experience, calmer and it was a good thing that it already happened in 2016”He added.

That time at the Brazilian Olympics, at the age of 17, Lola had to learn to have the eyes of the whole country on her, since she knows that the Olympic Games are one of the few moments in which the general public is distracted from more massive sports such as soccer or basketball. Dealing with that attention wasn’t easy. “I cared a lot about what people said to me and put the pressure on myself. I was browsing and I remembered the comments that they put me on the networks and I ended up thinking that I could not disappoint them, and that I could not do it wrong because they were going to say this or that thing. I thought more about those things than about the regatta itself and about being calm and trusting in the work we had done”, Said the sailor.

That experience helped him to arrive with another mental strength in Tokyo, feeding on what he lived and building from it. “I know that no matter how much the Olympic Games are, it is one more championship in which the same competitions are always held and I know the format. You have to downplay it and do what I came to do: sail, enjoy and try to leave Uruguay well up”, He commented. The immediate antecedents give him the reason, since in the international competitions in which he participated before arriving in Tokyo, he was satisfied with his performances, despite having gone a year and a half without measuring himself against other rivals due to the pandemic and its consequences. We confirmed that all the work we did was very good, that there were small things to adjust that we continue to work on because it is something that does not change from one day to the next, but it went very well for me. I was able to take the victory in Portugal and in Holland I tied in points with the tenth and I did not qualify for the final by one point, but I was super happy and confident for these games after returning to compete after a year and a half and having those results ” , he pointed.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave the sailor bittersweet feelings, which she was able to take advantage of to visit her native Paysandú more often and share with her family, although, on the other hand, doubts about whether the Games would finally take place and having to go through a injury added to the uncertainty. “I was injured and couldn’t train in the water, and I was thinking: are the Olympics going to be held? And if they are going to be done, I prepared for four years to just be injured now and not arrive the way I want”, He counted. One of the ways he found to make up for lost time was to build his own sailing simulator, an idea that came and went in one day. A Chilean colleague had made one and asked for the dimensions to imitate it. His father owns a sawmill, so he asked him to get certain lumber and that same afternoon they both got down to work and got it ready.

With that same determination, Lola will come to participate in these particular Olympic Games, although she does not have the same confidence when it comes to approaching the world figures that will be present. In Rio, he got the urge to meet Rafael Nadal and trained alongside Novak Djokovic, Although he only realized when they left because a colleague told him. The one who does want to meet in the Olympic Village is the tennis player Naomi osaka, in charge of lighting the cauldron during the opening ceremony. “I think he is a tremendous person, with everything that has happened and what defends the athlete himself,” said the sanducera.

The objective for Tokyo is precise: after being among the best 25 in Rio, now Lola aims to get into the top 15, although she dreams of “hitting the ground running” and getting into the medal race, where they compete for medals. The challenge is great, but Dolores Moreira is confident in her chances and prepared for this moment: all that remains is to jump into the water and risk everything for glory.

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