Mariana Pajón: “From London my life changed and I had to accept it”

10 Sep 2021 – 7:04 p.m. m.

The Colombian rider, triple Olympic medalist, made a retrospective of her triumphs, difficult moments and her recent medal in Tokyo.

Mariana Pajón starred in the 139th edition of Olympic News, the institutional program of the Colombian Olympic Committee. And he spoke about the achievements and difficulties of his career.

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About his first Olympic gold medal, in London 2012, he said: “Crazy, it changed my life completely. First, I did not know that the whole of Colombia was seeing my medal, I did not know that schools, universities, shopping centers, airplanes and airports had stopped … It was all crazy, knowing what was happening in Colombia. I was simply a girl from Medellín and I had dreamed of ever being a champion, but not like that ”.

“From London my life changed and I had to accept it. I was a little girl who was not known very much and suddenly I became someone that everyone knew. My life became public and that was something difficult to handle, because my dream was always to win an Olympic medal, but I never imagined that this was going to bring a lot of things around me, “he deepened.

About the problems that athletes suffer, such as injuries, he expressed: “You train for five years, you get up and you go through a lot of things for 45 seconds in which anything can happen and we are aware of it and we embark on this anyway. . Anything can happen, I could have won a medal, not even made it to the final or I could have fallen. Everything that was done in these games was profit and we know that it is complex, that is our sport ”.

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The Antioqueña bicicrosista also won the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and then lived difficult moments. “2017 was very positive, very cool things happened in my life, not only in my sports career. Then I embarked on a 2018 that I didn’t know was going to be like this. First, I had a very strong mononucleosis, I spent seven months fighting this disease and we did not know what was happening to me: my performance dropped a lot (…) This is how my 2018 began and then, at the World Cup in Holland, we went with the national team and it arrived knee injury, the strongest of my career in terms of time, recovery and pain. That’s where my 2018 came ”.

“With that injury I thought for the first time if it was enough, if I had already won enough and if it was time to stop. However, I knew that those Pan American Games (Lima 2019) were coming and I decided to continue, regardless of the result. Those games were like the point where I saw that I had a new motivation despite not knowing what was going to happen to my career. I was at 65, 70% when I arrived in Lima, but when you know the way it is a very big plus and, no matter how much strength you lack, if you put everything in its place, it works (…) Being there competing and representing Colombia motivated me pretty”.

And she came to Tokyo and was an Olympic medalist again. In Japan the silver was hung. “We focused on Bogotá first, we had a very good season there, on that great track, and then we went to the United States and we already knew that everything was getting closer. When you get the uniform with which you are going to compete, the painted helmet and the tricolor bicycle, you already know that this is coming for what you waited for five years (…) When we arrived in Japan, we were in a nearby city before arriving in La Villa, there you enter the reality of the Olympics (…) Although we knew they were atypical games, we enjoyed them a lot. The union and brotherhood of the entire Colombian team was very great, “he said.

Mariana Pajón, legend of Colombian sports, concluded: “My family has been everything, they have been my main motivators, those who have been accompanying me since I was a dreaming girl, since I wanted to be the best in the world. They did believe in me, they supported me, they left everything and abandoned many dreams, including their own, to accompany mine and for me to fulfill mine (…) They have been fundamental and they are the ones who made me and accompanied me to reach to achieve what I have achieved and, even more important, to contribute more as Mariana, not as the Olympic medalist ”.


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