Fernando Carro’s Light Or How To Get Out Of The Dark Olympic Tunnel

In mid-September, walking relaxed along the slopes of La Blume, without a trace of shoes, Fernando Carro seems happy again. At least that deal has come up with his head. A being of light like him – that’s how his environment defines him by his charisma and perennial smile – has lived in the shadows for the last month, and several years ago, precisely when he needed more illumination.

The beginning. Carro was looking forward to his Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, dreaming of a place in the final. It did not go well, and after a course overcoming injuries, the Brazilian event took him very far from privileged positions and very deep into something similar to depression: time and I think I touched depression, but I managed to wake up. ”

Knot. Fernando regained the spark in 2017 and decided to return to the beast: “Since the following years I trained for about a thousand days and barely rested two weeks. And it was noticeable, the results improved, the marks and I did not want to stop. I was on the crest of the wave and I reached the elite “. A silver in the 2018 Berlin Europeans, and infinite victories more, attest to this.

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And so, bursting the treadmill that he installed in his house so as not to lose his shape during the pandemic, he was approaching what was already a vital mission, the Tokyo Olympics : “You have to understand that for me it was my life, I was going there to die, I tricked my head into knowing that I would not return from there. During the last training sessions I did in Madrid I achieved marks that would have taken me very high. I had never felt better. ”

Sad denouement . More than 20 hours of travel took Carro to his destination: “During the flight I preferred to sleep to stretch and when I arrived I was very heavy with legs, so I just jogged a little around the Olympic village. The same thing happened to several athletes and they were injured in the first training session. ” Then came the fateful Tuesday and the series: “I was doing them very calmly, at easy rhythms and I felt a bit loaded, so I thought about not doing the last one. In the end I did it, and when there were barely 20 meters left I felt it , My face changed and my coach, Arturo Martín, saw me: ‘Fernando, don’t screw me, don’t scare me.’ I thought it would be nothing. ”

Carro was one of the first Spaniards to compete, that same Friday, and everything hastened from then on , for the worse: “The next day I was lame, I couldn’t even walk, but when I went to test the ultrasound, which was loaned, it wasn’t It was conclusive and a very small tear was barely noticeable. Later, when I had them done again, the doctors suddenly stopped talking and pointed out something. That was already a very bad thorn. After the competition, the COE doctor confessed to me that she had a significant gap “. Still, he went out to compete.

There was nothing to do, nor would it be in Tokyo, and Fernando’s path to the start of the Olympic semifinals was torture: “I know it sounds exaggerated, but I felt like I was going to the wall, several people were accompanying me and I remember having a immense anger, wanting to cry, clenching my fists. I came to eat the Games and before starting I knew that they were going to eat me. ”

Postscript. There was no race, because Fernando retired after a few minutes, when his leg said enough, and begged to return to Madrid in the first possible plane, straight to the tunnel: “For several weeks I was training alone, isolated, while the rest of the athletes returned and they talked about everything. I didn’t want to hear anything. ” A month later, his partner, the athlete Clara Viñarás, made things clear: “He told me: ‘You went to Tokyo on July 22 and you still haven’t returned. It’s about time.”

The boy from Vallecas has almost returned and begins to win the mental battle: “I tell myself that there will be a thousand races and that this is just sport, because what I do is very banal . I only go around a running track, is that it? so important?”. But it is not so easy, because from time to time, the damn conscience wakes up in dreams: “That was my moment.”

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