Kevin Cordon: Guatemala's new sporting HERO.

Kevin Cordon: Guatemala's new sporting HERO.

Kevin Haroldo Cordon Buezo, born on November 1986 in La Union, Zacapa Guatemala this 34-year created history by putting Guatemalan badminton on the map when he marked his way into the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Kevin, making his appearance in the Olympics for the fourth time, started with an sole intention of having fun on the court. His every win was special he says, “I’m still a kid, playing like a kid, having fun, trying to do my best,” entrie world was bedazzled when he defeated the eight seeded Angus Ng Ka-Long in two straight games 22-20 and 21-13.

Being Ranked as high as 24 in the world (2012), Cordon grew up playing football like most kids in Guatemala but took up badminton when he was offered a scholarship in the capital Guatemala City. Kevin left home when was 12 years old and set his goals straight from day one to reach the Olympics one day, but he also knew it would not be easy to train for a sport like badminton in a country where football is the crowd's favorite, it’s not like training here in Asia, he said. At one point he was practicing at make-shift badminton court that was set up inside a church.

Being named after the former England striker Kevin Keegan, this left-handed Guatemalan shuttler brings the same relentless energy onto the court. He began his training at the age of 11 and was a part of the Zacapa Department's Youth team in 1998. This two-time Pan American Games Gold Medalist, three-time Pan Am Championship's winner says that even after all these years of international badminton, my parents have never seen me play.

Cordon started his fairy tale run at the Tokyo Olympics after giving an upset for the eight-seeded Hong-Kong player making it into the knockouts and winning over Heo Kwang-Hee(Heo defeated world no.1 Kento Momota in group stages and knocked him out of the tournament) in the quarters. Kevin was just one step away from securing the first medal for Guatemala in badminton, but he had an impoosible task of beating the Danish no.1 Victor Axelsen. Kevin lost to Viktor in straights games.  

In the battle for Bronze, Kevin went down against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting from Indonesia in a 38-minute, losing 11-21 and 13-21. And Axelsen went onto win the Gold after defeating reigning champion Chen Long.

This sort of stories is what makes sports very special, and events such as the Olympics are a stage for people to make a mark for themselves and live their dreams.

Kevin is another example, if you truly believe in achieving something, every obstacle will be a stepping stone.