At just 17 years old, taekwondo Adriana Cerezo is one of the youngest members of the Olympic team but she does not lack ambition
Everything in Adriana Cerezo (Madrid, 2003) exudes power and optimism. It is a whirlwind capable of winning the European Championship and getting a 13 in the selectivity almost at the same time. A precocious wonder who will seek his first Olympic medal on Saturday in an event that does not intimidate him. “My goal is gold,” he explains with a confidence inappropriate for his 17 years. «In order to be able, you have to believe and I have a lot of confidence in myself. I have trained very hard and no one is going to beat me out of desire ».
Cerezo’s love for taekwondo was born as a child and since then there has been no one to take this obsession out of her head. Not even her parents, who at first were not very happy about the little girl going around “hitting” with other children. «It was my grandfather who always showed me martial arts movies, by Jackie Chan and Van Damme, which I really liked. I wanted to be like them and as there was a taekwondo gym under my house, so I signed up, “recalls the athlete, who reveals that after initial misgivings, her parents became a fundamental support. “As soon as they saw that I liked it, that I was happy doing this, they were the first to take me to all the championships and support me,” he says happily a few days before traveling to Tokyo.
Not even she was counting on being here, because her Games, the ones she had at least in mind, were those of Paris 2024. The pandemic opened a door for her that was closed and she did not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity. «At the age of 12, I was already helping my colleague Suvi Mikkonen to prepare for the Rio Games. So I did not think that my turn would come so soon, but I am one of those who does not believe that trains should be allowed to pass just because of age. The important thing is to be prepared and I am, ”she explains.
What makes Adriana happy is training. Face the best and win. It has been his goal for years and the one he hopes to achieve in Tokyo. There he will go up to the tapestry next Saturday with his string of gestures. I jump with my knees to my chest, kick here, kick there and a glance at the sky. The hug with her coach, which is never missing, must be imagined this time, because Jesús Ramal has not been able to travel with her because of the restrictions.
Yes, he will surely wear his lucky ribbon and the top with which he has won the last championships. «I have many hobbies, but they do not condition me. There are more things that I do to concentrate, but if I don’t have them I don’t think I’m going to lose ». Losing is a word that does not enter the vocabulary of Cerezo, who will begin his criminology career next year.
«I had just won my place in Tokyo and I couldn’t concentrate for the selectivity. I was studying and I was only thinking about the Games. How they would be, how I would do it … I had to cut my losses to do it well and well, I can’t complain, because I got a 13 ”, the Madrid woman proudly explains, who already has her plans clear when she returns from Japan. I’ll do as usual. I’ll go to my grandmother’s house and ask her for a potato omelette or some croquettes. She is the one who has always led me to train. She has spent years like this, spending four hours in the gym while I trained, so if I come back from Tokyo with a medal, the first thing I will do is take it home … and if not, too », sums up happily, this Jackie Chan impersonator who aspires to be the first Spanish medal in the Games.