This Tuesday April 27 is the fifth anniversary of a very special day for Rafael Nadal. Because he was officially designated the standard bearer of the Spanish team in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
He says he has his routines, especially on the track, but that he does not consider himself a generally superstitious person. However, there was a certain superstition with the flag and the Olympic event.
Nadal did not want what happened in the London 2012 Olympics. Had attended the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) for his official presentation as a flag bearer. He posed with the flag he was supposed to carry in the English capital. Days later, he announced that he had to give up the competition due to tendonitis in the knees.
In an official statement, Nadal pointed out that “I have to think about my teammates, I can’t be selfish and I have to think about the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a better-prepared partner of mine play who is in good shape. to compete. I have hurried until the last moment in my preparation, in my training sessions, but it could not be ”.
It’s one of the saddest days of my career
He acknowledged that “it is one of the saddest days of my career since one of the greatest illusions and perhaps the most special moment was being the flag bearer of Spain at the opening ceremony of the games in London, so you can imagine how difficult what it has been like to make this decision ”.
He had such a bad time that he did not want previous preparations as the official flag bearer of Rio de Janeiro 2016. Requests with special photographs related to his stellar presence in those Games rained down on him, but he preferred not to try his luck and abstained from ceremonials prior to finally being the standard-bearer, a condition that fell on Pau Gasol in London after his discharge.
Wrist injury before Rio 2016
History almost repeats itself because Nadal suffered a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from Roland Garros and resign from Wimbledon. Without competing in June and July, he did everything he could to reach Rio 2016. Not only did he carry the flag, but he also hung the gold in doubles alongside Marc lopez and touched the podium in ‘singles’, giving up in the bronze match against the Japanese Kei nishikori. In the quarters he had fallen in a marathon match with the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.
From Athens 2004 to Tokyo 2020
Nadal wants to play in Tokyo 2020 their fourth Games. Individual champion in Beijing 2008, just before ascending to ATP world number one by dethroning the Swiss Roger Federer, his Olympic premiere dates from Athens 2004, where he attended with his friend, now also a coach, Carlos Moyà. I doubled, defeated by Brazilians Sa and Saretta. Months later both lived an unforgettable moment playing the singles of the triumph of Spain over the United States in the final of Davis cup disputed in the Sevillian stadium of the Cartuja.