I finally got to know the Munich 1972 Olympic regatta course. Back in 2016, just before the Rio Olympics, our most successful Games ever, I saw some photos and videos of our beloved rivals, the Germans, doing their final training camp on a beautiful course with clear turquoise-looking water. Since that moment, I always wanted to visit that course and even paddle on its transparent waters.
So, I was very excited when I heard that that course would host the Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe events at the Munich 2022 Multisport European Championships.
Most of our team members arrived in Munich on Tuesday. Some early in the morning, others later in the evening. Those arriving earlier had the chance to train that very day and the rest had to wait until Wednesday morning.
The first feedback from the athletes was that the water was pretty “hard”, which means that you struggle more to move the paddle blades fast in the water which affects the boat’s accelerations. The advantage of having been a professional paddler is that I know that feeling well, so I made the most of it to kill three birds with one stone: paddle on such a stunning course, test the “hardness” of those waters myself and try the newly redesigned NELO 7.
Perhaps you noticed that our team for this competition was different from the one from the World Championships. It would take me a while to explain our selection criteria but all you need to know is that we base part of our success on strong internal competition and giving the chance to compete internationally to a wider number of athletes. So, even though some of our main stars were missing from this event, we were convinced that we still had a very strong team to be ambitious with our goals. The aim was to double last year’s medals (four), however we didn’t imagine that we would end up winning 15 medals overall. Ten of them in just a single day.
We still have things to improve in many areas but it feels good to be able to say that this year we had our best results ever not only at a World Cup or at the World Championships, but also at the European Championships!
That’s a hat trick!
When we designed our sport project this year, we stated that we wanted to achieve Spanish Canoeing’s best decade ever. Well, it seems that we are on the right track.
Gracias a todos, deportistas, entrenadores y todas las partes implicadas, por haberlo hecho posible. ¡Sois increíbles!