Gedeón Guardiola: “We want to do something special in the Olympic Games”
The pivot from Alicante won the bronze medal and six international medals with the handball national team
Wed, 03/03/2021 - 15:49
This Spanish handball generation is preserving a high-level and extending a phase of accomplishments that, far from weakening its presence in the international elite, demonstrates that it is a candidate for triumph in the next Olympic Games. In February, they obtained the bronze medal in Egypt’s World Men’s Handball Championship and, according to Gedeón Guardiola, pivot of the German TBV Lemgo club, student of the Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at UCAM, who has been two times a European champion and a world champio, this is a great sign of what they may achieve in Tokyo 2020.
Are you happy with the bronze medal obtained in the World Championship?
Yes, we are. There were some preparatory games that we could not play due to the Filomena storm and to the health situation provoked by the coronavirus, so we had to go there without actually entering the competition mood. However, we are happy because, being included in the hardest group, we were able to improve gradually. We could have used a bit more of luck in the semi-finals against Denmark, but world handball is reaching a higher level and, considering all the circumstances, we must be satisfied with the medal.
It must be weird to compete at this international level in front of empty stands, isn’t it?
Playing without an audience is very cold. For example, they did not play high-music during the warm-up because there was no one to entertain, and the pre-show that is normally done on these competitions was not carried out. One must mentally adapt to this situation.
Six international medals, two times European Champion and one time World Champion. The Olympic Games are the only thing missing?
We were excluded from Rio 2016 out of bad luck. We still have that bitter memory and we are very motivated to go to Tokyo, that is it. The Olympic Games will be held in a few months and we want to do something special. All the national teams dream of an Olympic medal, it is going to be complicated, but I think that the team has reached a good level; if we remain healthy, we will be able to go there with our ambitions and hopes.
Do you trust in the fact that the Games are going to be held?
After winning the world bronze medal, we stayed in the headquarters of the Spanish Olympic Committee and its president, Alejandro Blanco, assured that they are going to be held. The conditions will not be the same as in other Olympic Games, but he showed us that they will be held and he was convinced that we are going there to win.
Will we see Gedeón Guardiola in Paris 2024?
Physically, I feel good. Right now, age is only a number. I think I am performing at a high level in the national team as well as in my club, and as long as I continue feeling like this and Jordi - the national coach - trusts my work, I am going to be there.
You have been playing in Germany for many years. Do you see yourself staying there in the future, beyond your sports career?
Germany is a league that noticed me when I was in Pamplona, where I was dealing with economic problems, and I made my début in the team. I left thinking I would stay there for a short time and I have already spent nine years there. I have adapted well to the culture and the country. We do miss Spain, our families, the climate... but my wife and I are very much at ease. My children were born in Germany and we still have not thought of leaving or staying here once my career path is over. Since I play handball, I still have one year left on my contract with Lemgo and I will try to stay here because it is a very competitive league that takes care of players very much and I still want to continue growing.
How is your experience with UCAM so far?
I am more than happy; it allows me to study Psychology and to take my sports to the highest level. I have tried with other universities and I always had problems, here I feel more comfortable. I will always speak very highly of UCAM and of the conditions it offers to help high-level athletes.