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Mexico's fencer Gomez seeks redemption in Rio

Reporter: Xu Zhen 丨 CCTV.com

07-18-2016 15:55 BJT

A Mexican fencer is seeking redemption in Rio. Daniel Gomez failed to get onto the podium at the London Games, but four years on, he feels he is on the cusp of glory, thanks to his commitment, which is something he can bank on. Peter Koveos has the details.

He said, "When I put on the mask, I start to analyze. What am I doing? What will my opponent do? Have I seen him fight before? I try to focus only on him. This is a moment of total concentration."

"Fencing is all about intelligence. It's a combat sport in which you have to outsmart your rival in order to beat him. It's a game of intelligence, patience and aggressiveness."

Daniel Gomez is 25 years old and Mexico's best foil fencer. He started when he was just 12 years old.

Gomez said, "As a child, I tried many sports. But none of them really caught my attention. Then I saw a James Bond movie and 'The Parent Trap.' Both include fencing scenes. That was when I told my mom 'I want to start fencing!'"

Life as an athlete is demanding. Exercise, diet and lots of discipline. In 2013, Gomez got a good job at one of the biggest banks in Mexico. He tried to combine work and Olympic goals.

He said, "I had a good chance to make it to the Olympics. This past January, I was very close to qualifying. But I still had three more competitions to go. So I had to decide. What do I want? Do I want to participate in the Olympic Games? Or continue with my safe, stable job?"

He took the risk and quit his job. Then he qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"I competed in London in 2012. Obviously, I was really nervous. Rio de Janeiro will be my second time at the Olympics. So I know what to expect. I feel good. I know I can win. I want to give my best."

To achieve his goal, he is training every day. He said, "In the morning, we train at the High Performance Center. I start with fencing footwork action. Afterwards, I move on to a private class with my trainer."

"Around noon I go to the gym where I work specific fencing muscles like abs, the back, my arms and legs. I do an intense one-hour workout at the gym. In the afternoon, I practice combat strategies with my team."

In London 2012, Daniel Gomez didn't make it to the podium.

Every athlete gets to the point where he wants to quit. Because of losing an important competition or failing to reach your goals. But the real challenge is not about getting all the way to the top. The real challenge is to get up every time you fall.

"I won the Central American and Caribbean Games. I made it to the podium at the Pan American Games. So these are results that make me happy."

But now, he wants to go one step further. This year, he wants to make history.

"When it comes to fencing, Mexico has only won one silver medal at the Olympics. I am one of the few fencers who get to go to the Games twice. So I want to make this second chance count," said Gomez.

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