Mijaín is Not Retiring

Mijaín is Not Retiring
Fecha de publicación: 
17 January 2023
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Mijaín López is, undoubtedly, the best Cuban athlete of all times. His five world titles and his four Olympic gold medals are indisputable, nor is his dominance in the top category of Greco-Roman wrestling since 2005 until today.

Now 40 years old, and after winning his fourth summer medal in Tokyo, the giant from Herradura is away from the tatamis.

Becoming the first man to win Olympic gold medals four times brought a halt to his career, but as he confessed exclusively to CubaSí, this can only be a pause, not a full stop.

«After a year off, I need to see how my body responds to training to see if I can go on. I must be about 10-15 kilos above my ideal weight, but throughout my career I have always been able to lose weight when necessary, that doesn't worry me much. That difference seems like a lot, but when you start training, you lose weight without much trouble. With training and dedication, I should return to my weight, that does not worry me.

Surrounded by his children, he attended the Cuban Sports Gala as a special guest to reward the best athletes of 2022, in which for the first time in more than a decade he is not the main star. However, he makes up for the fact that he has lived "normally" in recent months.

«This was a very good year for me, I needed to spend more time with my family, with the children. After 30 years of sports career, with a lot of sacrifice, this came in handy after winning my fourth Olympic gold medal. Also with this I recharge the batteries and with the motivation I have I think I can return to wrestling».

That is the ultimate task, to rekindle that desire for winning that made you the most dominant fighter in the world...

"I’m motivated to resume my sports career, I have already discussed it with the group of coaches and I want to test myself to see what happens, my body will tell me if I can withstand the training loads."

Of course, everything will depend on how you feel when you return, and this year that has just begun, with important commitments such as the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador and the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, is not the most important, but the next.

With five Pan American and two Central American gold medals, Mijaín has nothing to look for in the regional events, but that does not mean that the year is sabbatical. The presence in the pre-selection of Oscar Pino, who currently appears amongst the best in the division, may be his greatest incentive and his chance to know if he is ready to attack that dream of becoming the only fighter with five Olympic gold medals, without distinction of sexes. Let's remember that in the female category, the Japanese Kaori Icho (2004-2016) also added four Olympic gold medals.

That must be his main motivation, sitting alone on Olympus to contemplate humans, but it won’t be easy because at Paris 2024 (from July 26th to August 11th) our great champion will be about to turn 42 years old, on the 20th of that month. As always, everything is in his powerful hands, and his main rival will be himself once again. If he is in shape, the rest will fight again to split the silver and bronze medals.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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