Saturday, July 2, 2022

Carolina Marín, a Badminton pioneer

March 22, 2021
Carolina Marín, a Badminton pioneer

Carolina María Marín Martín is an Andalusian badminton player who competes in the women’s singles category and has reached number one in the BWF world ranking. She was born in Huelva and is 27 years old. She has been Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro 2016, 3 three times world champion in 2014 (in Denmark),2015 (in Indonesia) , and 2018 (in China), and four times European champion, in 2014,2016, 2017, and 2018. Also, she has won four Premier Super Series, the All England and Malaysia Open in 2015, and two China Opens, in 2018 and 2019.

Carolina Marín was awarded the National Sports Award for the best Spanish sportswoman of 2014 and distinguished with the Bronze Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit (2014) and the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit (2016). In 2016, the Palacio de Deportes of Huelva was renamed “Palacio de Deportes Carolina Marín” in her honour and in 2018 she received the Medal of Andalusia.

Carolina started badminton at the age of eight thanks to a friend, Laura, with whom she also went to school and flamenco. At the age of 12, she left the flamenco classes and focused on the racket. She signed for Recreativo La Orden and became a national champion for the first time at the age of 13. At 14, she moved to the Blume Residence in Madrid, where she met one of the key people in her career: her coach since then, Fernando Rivas. Her motto is: “I can because I think I can”.

The Huelva native is the pioneer of badminton in Spain, the first to reach the highest levels of her sport, but she has always said that she is much more highly valued abroad: “In Asia, I’m Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, I can’t go out on the street”. Thanks to her explosion, there are already 250 federated clubs and more than 7,000 licences. The racket Carolina uses is custom-made, weighing less than 100 grams, made of carbon fibre, and costing around 300 euros. The shots to the shuttlecocks soar above 300 km/h: the highest speed in a racquet discipline and one of the fastest sports. On the other hand, Carolina is a rociera and supporter of the football club Recreativo de Huelva. Every medal she wins is offered to her by the Virgen del Rocío and, when she returns home, she passes them through her mantle to help her. He plays with a chain of the Virgen del Rocío and the initial of his name.

On the court, one of her hallmarks is shouting to intimidate her opponents: “It especially affects the Asian girls”. Outside, she considers herself a happy and open person, very family-oriented. “My perfect plan includes switching off my mobile phone, lying on the beach in Huelva, and having some prawns”. Behind Carolina Marín’s success, there is not only talent but also a lot of hard work. Her competitiveness makes her go for victory whenever she can, not on holiday. Her greatest point of reference, like many others, is Rafa Nadal. His capacity for sacrifice, his undeniable grit and character, and his unwavering determination to never give up are just some of the common factors that unite them. Like her idol, the Huelva native also wants to become the spearhead of this sport. The growth of badminton in Spain is slow but steady. And it bears an unmistakable feminine stamp.