(By Steven Moreno)
This year 2022 has started with great enthusiasm for my sports career, on January 6, 2022 in Puerto Rico a very traditional day is celebrated called Three Kings Day, it is a tradition for us Puerto Ricans.
That day I woke up with a shout of joy from my parents as my coach called us early in the morning to tell us that in the new ITTF ranking I was number 1 in the world. For me, it is an incredible happiness to be able to reach the top of ittf tanking in my category is a dream and to be able to fulfill it fills me with pride. I spent that week as a celebrity in Puerto Rico thanks to the affection of my island, I was on all the television programs and news, he even mentioned my favorite influencer, which is Mollusco (@yosoymolusco)(2.1 million followers). It was something super special for me and my whole family to be able to bring joy to everyone is something that fills me and it makes me proud to be number 1 in the world.
Now it’s all a responsibility, since now everyone follows me closely and it’s a challenge and I love challenges. So this 2022 will be one of great goals and objectives to meet and achieve.
On January 23, 2022, I left Puerto Rico for Portugal to further focus my preparation for the international commitments I have to fulfill. It is already my third time in Europe alone without my parents, at 12 years old it is something that we at our age do not see as something big but it is when I sit for hours on the plane I can think about it well and I say wow to Europe to train it’s something amazing. Well, that gives me much more energy and motivation.
It’s all a coordination from before leaving Puerto Rico since we have to coordinate essential medications, my online classes that thanks to my school specialized in sports at the Olympic hostel allows us the flexibility of being able to go to train outside the country and the teachers sending us the jobs and classes online is a blessing and I thank my teachers and my school.
Arrived in Portugal, the culture and language are very different, we have to get used to everything in what is happening in time. But the people and the group of colleagues where I train, which is at the high performance center in Mirandela, make us feel at home.
A club that focuses as much on training as high performance, with more than 5 coaches correcting and attending to all the athletes. Her Head Trainer Xie Juan is the national trainer for Portugal at the adult level and her level of professionalism is very impressive with her being assisted by the project manager for Latin America Gustavo Levisman who is the national trainer for Argentina and Isidro Borges jr. Who is the head coach of Mirandela and trainer of the great Portugal player Joao Geraldo.
We practice 2 sections a day for around 6 to 7 hours a day, each section having its particularity and specificity aimed at the technical-tactical aspects of each player.
They also focus a lot on services and reception and 3 times a week they are multiball.
Everything is well coordinated and super directed. It gives pleasure and motivation to train in a center with such a diversity of high-level players.
I thank the Municipality of Coamo, the Puerto Rican Table Tennis Federation and my parents and coaches who trust me. Bowmar Sports Butterfly USA and Mr. Bowie Jr. Thank you for all the help and the best table tennis sports team.
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