The Zacapaneco achieves a historic performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
TOKYO, JAPAN – The first memories of Kevin Haroldo Cordon doing sports they are with a soccer ball in the fields and streets of their hometown La Union, Zacapa, about 195 kilometers from Guatemala City. Between the field with his grandfather and the ‘singe’ with his friends, he enjoyed a happy childhood, always very close to his family.
His father always mentions in interviews that Kevin was a very good footballer and dreamed of becoming a professional and they say that there is no bad left-hander. In fact, he named him Kevin in honor of former England striker Kevin Keegan. But, fate had another story prepared for him. Of triumph, yes, but in another sport. Badminton, which Kevin knew until he was 12 years old.
In 1998, when he was welcoming adolescence, he came to the municipality don Amílcar Castañeda, who had practiced badminton in America. He wanted to integrate it into the education of the locals and spread it in the schools of the sector. He improvised a field in a warehouse, never imagining that it would lay the foundation for the career of a fourth Olympic place.
To the city
Kevin practiced badminton at The Union for the next three years, until members of the National Badminton Federation of Guatemala They observed him and decided that he should travel to Guatemala City. It was after Cordón won a youth tournament in Quiché.
🏸🇬🇹 The Guatemalan badminton player lost the game for the bronze medal 🥉 to the Indonesian Anthony Gintin 🇮🇩 https://t.co/FNZD36hSbf
– ESPN Guatemala (@ESPN_GT) August 2, 2021
At the age of 15, he left his family, his friends, his town, his customs and settled in the Federation clubhouse. He knew it was the decision that would shape his future. Thus, without even being of legal age, he entered the world of high-performance sports. His life began to revolve around badminton.
Kevin Cordón has a gift and made it available to badminton. His first Olympic Games were in Beijing 2008, he carried the Guatemalan flag at the inauguration. He was also in London 2012, a year before he experienced one of the most difficult moments of his career and his life.
From possible retirement to glory
In 2013 he suffered a total rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg at a tournament in Peru. Days later his brother Marvin passed away in a tragic car accident. Many thought that Kevin Cordón would not return to high performance. They were two very strong blows, one more physical, the other more from the heart.
#Tokyo challenge You don’t know how strong you are until life tests you. You are succeeding, with the affection and admiration of all. Thank you for exalting the values that sport gives and staying true to your ideals. Kevin Cordón you are a hero on and off the court. 💪🏽🇬🇹💙🏸🙌🏼 pic.twitter.com/Ygl7o2QhdF
– COG (@COGuatemalteco) August 2, 2021
But, for a warrior there are no impossibilities, there are no defeats, there is falling and getting up. Kevin Cordón returned to the Olympics that closed in Rio 2016. An injury left him out of the limelight.
With three Olympic Games on top, the resurgence of the phoenix arrived in Tokyo 2020, a summer joust that takes place in 2021. Kevin arrived fired up, in excellent physical condition and enviable mental strength. He worked with experts in Nuevo León, Mexico, and when the pandemic hit harder and his Federation closed, he was left with nothing to do. On his own initiative, he found a venue, improvised a parish hall, and turned it into a training ground to keep up.
The boy who played soccer in La Unión, Zacapa, has gifted Guatemala with a memorable performance at the Olympic Games. Long live Kevin Cordón!