|Marcos Madrid on qualifying for Rio|
These moments were very difficult for me especially after losing 3 times in the final moments to qualify for Olympics. For Beijing I was 9-7 up in the 7th and lost 11-9 against Dexter St Louis, this was my first big defeat. I was totally destroyed. All the effort I made, I felt like it was for nothing, for 2-3 months I was very sad and could not believe it.
4 years later for London 2012 I played the final of the Pan American Games against Liu Song. I beat him in the team events but in the singles where the qualification spot was, I could not beat him. This was very hard because the tournament was in Mexico and in front of 3000 people supporting me, I lost the ticket for London.
Following that, the Olympic Qualification for London 2012 I thought I was in my best shape but from the beginning of the tournament I didn't play too well, maybe too much stress and thinking forward of what may happen if I reach the final again and I lost in the final (the 3rd and final ticket) again, this time against Andy Pereira.
So some very difficult moments in my life and in my career but I was sure that one day I would qualify.
I know this season you have been playing France, what special preparations had you taken to get ready for the 2016 Olympic Trial which you hadn't for the past two Olympics?
Now I'm playing in France for Caen in the first league. My preparation was more specific and also more cool and less stressed. I just wanted to play my game and enjoy the feeling that the sport gives me. So also it was very important to work on my mental preparation with my coach so that I was always thinking in the present and not about the future (and what could happen in the final stages etc.)
Maybe in the last 3 chances I had before, I thought so much in the future when I was playing.
How did you feel going into the trial for Rio? Well prepared? Playing well? Confident/Nervous?
In Chile in the trials I felt very good and not so much stress. My friend and coach from France were with me and also my family were there with me. With the support I stayed positive even after losing the first day 4-0, I never lost confidence and was able to keep fighting until the end.
How did it feel to finally qualify for the Olympic Games?
After the last point in the match which qualified me for Rio it was just one explosion of joy. All the effort I made since so many years leaving far away from my family and the people I love, only in this moment everything was paid to me in one instant. I was so lucky that my father was there with me so we all hugged together also with my sister and cry together.
At the moment I am enjoying every day and I can enjoy my preparation until the day I will compete. I hope my story can help other people that have a goal and a dream that they always need to fight for.
Never give up and fight every day until you reach your goal!
Congratulations Marcos on reaching your dream! :)