Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Carolina MARIN biography
Marin could have been a Flamenco dancer. A highly accomplished performer, she was very keen on dance as a child. But after being introduced to badminton by a friend, Marin took another direction. Now, she dances around a court – and is already, at 26, considered one of the greatest badminton players of all time.
Marin has an enviable roll of honours. She is a three-time women’s singles World Champion, triumphing at Copenhagen 2014, Jakarta 2015 and Nanjing 2018, making her the only female athlete ever to achieve this feat. She’s also a four-time European Champion, having lifted the trophy at Kazan 2014, La Roche-sur-Yon 2016, Kolding 2017 and Huelva 2018, and has
Add in the biggest prize of all – the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 – and Marin is already a giant of the game, looking to add further honours to her list at Tokyo 2020. In Brazil, Marin defeated her great rival, the brilliant Indian player P.V Sindhu, in straight sets. She also beat Sindhu in her most recent World Championship win, in 2018. But the Indian athlete won the title for herself in 2019, a season in which Marin was blighted by injury. Their battle for supremacy looks set to continue for many years.
Marin tore her ACL in 2019, and initially thought that an injury of such gravity might end her hopes of a second successive Olympic gold. “I was heartbroken, I thought I had no hopes of making it to the Tokyo Olympics then,” she says. “But, I was able to gather the strength and motivation to fight this phase. I told myself to think positively. “Now I think one of the positives from the injury-break was that it helped me improve. I feel I have sharpened my net-play and have added variety to my shots. It’s going to be a different Olympic Games from Rio. The players will be more ready for sure. Everything is going to be different but, of course, as always, I really want to get that gold medal again.”
She’s also proud to be spreading the love for her sport. “In Spain, after Rio, after I won the gold, everyone knows about badminton and they also want to play,” says Marin. “I feel really happy about it.”