Carolina Marín

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Biography of Carolina Marín, a Spanish athlete, who is a badminton player. She has made history in Spain and worldwide, being the first woman and the only one in history to be a three-time badminton world champion.

In Spain, before Carolina Marín debuted, badminton was a minority sport. The great merit of this athlete and her coach, Fernando Rivas, has been bringing the name of Spain to the highest international sports summits.

At the age of 26, Carolina Marín had been an Olympic champion once, three times world champion, and four times badminton European champion.

Carolina Marín childhood and family

Carolina Marín Martín was born in Huelva, on June 15, 1993.

Her parents are Gonzalo Marín and Antonia Martín.

Carolina Marín
Carolina badminton prodigy girl. Credit: web kinacu sport

Flamenco dancing was Carolina Marín’s great passion when she was a child.

Her mother says that she signed her up for flamenco classes at the Neighbors Association, since she was three years old.

When she was 8 years old, her friend and neighbor, Laura Sánchez, suggested her  to go both to play badminton at the Diego Lobato Sports Center, which was next to their house.

Her mother, Antonia Martín, had never even heard of this sport, but she took it; and two days later, she bought her a racket.

From that moment on, Carolina Marín became passionately interested in badminton.

Her father was the one who took her to almost every game. Her mother went from time to time and saw that the girl did not know how to finish or anything, but that she was very competitive.

Carolina Marín inherited the fighting character from her maternal grandmother, also named Carolina.

Huelva ciudad de Carolina Marín
Aerial view of Huelva, with the Odel river in the foreground. Credit: Huelva Information website

When Carolina Marín turned 12 she left flamenco and focused almost exclusively on badminton. Her first victory came in some municipal games and she signed for the Club de Huelva.

Beginnings of Carolina Marín’s sports career

Carolina started playing badminton at the badminton club “Instituto La Orden” in her hometown, Huelva.

At age 14, Carolina Marín’s extraordinary results were public and notorious. Her parents authorized her to move to the Joaquín Blume Residence in Madrid.

Letting her go to the Madrid High Performance Center at that young age was not an easy decision for her parents. But, they agreed to give her a try. They went to Madrid twice a month to see her.

The Blume Residence for elite athletes is located in the University City of Madrid. It has 180 rooms for individual use fully equipped and with four rooms adapted for disabled athletes.

It also has rooms for monitors and spacious rooms for medical service and administration.

The Residence has all the technological advances and a great variety of common services such as study rooms, library, TV room, hydrotherapy room, laundry, kitchens, dining room for 220 people, cafeteria and garage for 80 seats.

Since then, Carolina Marín’s coach has been Fernando Rivas.

Carolina Marín Fernando Rivas
Carolina Marín and Fernando Rivas, a perfect team. Credit: Marca website

Fernando Rivas was born in Granada, in 1977. He was a badminton player at the Club Universidad de Granada, in 1996, when he was asked to be the badminton coach at the Piarist school in Granada.

After finishing studies at the National Institute of Physical Education, he continued to perfect himself in Manchester, Amsterdam, France and Germany.

Fernando Rivas arrived at the Blume Residence in 2004, being a 27 year old. He wanted to apply his neuroscience knowledge to training. Older students did not trust their new method, which departed from those used by Chinese world champions.

When Carolina Marín arrived at the Blume Residence, Fernando focused on her and both began to use the new training model, studying and training intensively.

The three words that define Carolina are “Calm, joy and strength“. The three that Fernando applies are: “Persistence, tenacity and strategy“.

Fernando has a lot of contact with Fred Vergnoux, the coach of swimmer Mireia Belmonte.

At age 15, Carolina Marín became the first Spanish badminton player to win a silver medal at the European Junior Badminton Championships.

The following year, in 2009, she won a gold medal in the European Under-17 Badminton Championship. It was the beginning of a decade of national and international triumphs.

In 2011, she won the gold medal at the European Youth Championship held in Finland.

Carolina Marín participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games. On that occasion, she was eliminated in the group stage after losing against China’s Li Xuerui, winner of the tournament’s gold medal.

Carolina Marín characteristics

Carolina Marín’s style of play is characterized by being very offensive, with powerful left-handed shots and a great ability to anticipate the movements of her opponent.

She is a very temperamental player who celebrates the important points with screams and spectacular gestures that startle and overwhelm her competitors, especially the Asian ones, so modest and calm almost all of them.

Carolina Marín
Carolina doesn’t hold back when she needs to let off steam. Credit: Kinaco Sports website

To all this, she adds great mental and physical strength. Her motto is: “I can, because I think I can“. Her capacity for effort is truly exceptional.

However, off the court Carolina is the friendly, happy, sparkling and spontaneous girl who captivates everyone.

Carolina Marín’s great triumphs between 2013 and 2015

Carolina Marín participated in the 2013 Asian Cup, playing in the inaugural edition of the Badminton Indian League, with the Indian team from the city of Bangalore.

At the age of 20, the innate qualities, tenacity and hard work of Carolina Marín and her coach began to give spectacular results.

In that year 2013, she was the first Spanish badminton player to win the London Gold Grand Prix.

Carolina Marín won the European Championship in April 2014 in the Russian city of Kazan.

Five months later, in August 2014, in China, Carolina was acclaimed “badminton world champion”. She was the first Spanish woman with this title and the third European player to win a badminton gold medal in China.

Very deservedly, in Spain she was awarded the bronze medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit of the year 2014, and the Reina Letizia National Sports Award for the best Spanish athlete of the year 2014.

Carolina Marín reina Letizia
Carolina Marín and Queen Letizia in La Zarzuela, 2014. Credit: Zeleb website.

On March 8, 2015, she became number 4 in the world badminton ranking, and number 1 in the Super Series tournaments, dethroning the famous Li Xuerui from this title.

The BWF Super Series are badminton tournaments organized by the World Badminton Federation since 2007. Every year, the Federation organizes 12 tournaments, held in 11 countries in Asia and Europe. At the end of the year the Super Series Final is played.

In April 2015, Carolina Marín won her second consecutive Super Series Premier title, again beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui.

The following month, on May 31, 2015, she won the Australian Open, Super Series title, by beating Chinese Wang Shixian.

In June 2015, at the World Badminton Championship in Jakarta, Carolina Marín finally rose to world number one, something that a European player has not achieved since 2010.

To get this honorable title, she had to defeat no less than three Asian champions: Tee Jing Yi, Pai Yu-Po and Wang Shixian.

In October 2015, Carolina Marín won a new title at the French Open; and on November 21, 2015, she defeated Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, earning her third annual Super Series.

Carolina Marín competitions in the triennium 2016-2018

On May 1, 2016 and consecutively she was proclaimed champion of Europe in the French city of La Roche-sur-Yon, defeating the Scottish Kirsty Gilmour.

On August 19, 2016, she was proclaimed champion at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, becoming the first non-Asian player to be an Olympic champion. In addition, she is the first from Huelva to achieve an Olympic medal.

On April 30, 2017 she won her third European Championship, consecutively, by defeating the Scottish Kirsty Gillmour in the final.

Carolina Marín
Carolina Marín the queen of European badminton. Credit: Marca website

On April 29, 2018 she achieved her fourth consecutive European Championship, played in her hometown of Huelva. That day there were about 100 relatives in the pavilion, between maternal and paternal family. All of Huelva was supporting her favorite daughter.

On August 5, 2018, she again won the World Championship, held in Nanking, China, becoming the first woman to win three badminton world championships.

Carolina Marín in the year 2019

On January 26, 2019, Carolina Marín had to withdraw from the final of the Jakarta Master due to a knee injury. She underwent surgery on January 30, 2019, for rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee.

Eight months later, on September 22, she faced Taiwanese Tai Tzu Ying at the Chinese Open where she won the championship.

Carolina Marín
Carolina Marín won the victory in the China Open tournament, September 2019. Credit: Huelva Ya website

Badminton is the sixth most practiced sport in the world, with 200 million people.

One idea of Carolina Marín’s efforts and intense activity is that in ten years she has competed in at least 25 countries – 14 in Europe, 5 in Asia, 2 in Africa, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Australia – continuously winning Awards.

She has participated in the Olympic Games, European Championships and World Championships. She has won 5 gold medals between 2014 and 2019.

Together with her there is a whole team that supports and encourages her: the coach, two physical therapists, a physical trainer and two experts in marketing and communication.

In the 20th century, there have been numerous Spanish women who began to make headlines in the sports world.

Among them: Edurne Pasabán (mountaineer), Mireia Belmonte (swimming), Almudena Cid (Gymnast) and Teresa Perales (Paralympic swimming).

Acknowledgments to the great athlete Carolina Marín

Carolina Marín was awarded the National Sports Award for the best Spanish athlete and the Andalusian Medal.

She has been distinguished with the Bronze Medal and with the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, in Spain.

In December 2016, the Sports Palace of Huelva was renamed as “Carolina Marín Sports Palace“.

Polideportivo Carolina Marín
The Sports Palace in Huelva is already named after Carolina Marín. Credit: Huelva Information website

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