How much is success linked to the word “effort”?
Effort is part of any every athlete’s daily life. When you face a big challenge, the biggest is, the biggest the effort. Sports require a sacrificed life. It is a hard and lonely life. You must have courage to face challenges that seem hard and unreachable.
When you were growing up, was hour home a school of values?
Yes, it was. At home they also educated me outside of sports. If I did eat like the vegetable cream, I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I finished it. For my parents our education was vital. They had very clear that I could not leave my studies. It was as important to be a swimming champion as cultivating myself, studying and learning.
What is the main value your parents taught you?
That with work and will you can achieve everything you want, because effort is more important than ability. I have had great examples at home. My parents were and still are very hardworking people.
How did they support you in your sporting career?
They did being next to me all the time. I remember hard moments in which without that hug, without their encouraging words many times I would not have been able to stand up. Those moments after hard practices, driving back, when I could not even see they highway… And getting home, and getting that ice pack in my legs, a hug, doing family therapy so I would bounce back and fight again.
Would you have achieved all the success without your parents?
No, of course I would not. My parents have never been my agents, my coaches or my psychologists, and I believe that is very important. They do not have the medals, but I owe them so much that my medals belong to them. Without those ice packs, without those drives home, without those millions of things they have done for me, my medals would not be here.
La frase del día