The slaps of the German judoka Martyna Trajdos from her coach went viral in networks and generated controversy, but it was a motivational act or kabbalah that athletes have before going out to the arena in search of divine help that takes pressure off them.
Claudiu Pusa grabbed her tightly from the judogi and then slapped her twiceyes, one with each hand, on the face. As an image it was shocking, but it was about a ritual that she chose herself, explained the judoka of the -63kg test.
Sometimes, those rituals or superstitious acts are striking and surprising, as happened in Rio 2016 when the Canadian swimmer Santo Condorelli, also present in Japan but now defending the colors of Italy, made the rude gesture of the middle finger to his father, moments before jumping into the pool.
In Tokyo, the Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, gold in Rio 2016 and great favorite to retain the crown in triple jump, says that his kabbalah is to “change your look” for events and on Japanese soil, her option has been to dye her hair pink.
Something similar, and with overtones of coquetry, happens to the British sprinter Dina asher-smith, who told the English press that he was passing almost an hour doing makeup, combing and tying her hair in the locker room, to have the feeling of being ready for the race.
Some athletes practice it moments before taking the test, while others do it behind closed doors, seeking concentration.
In fact, in the bowels of Asher-Smith’s dressing room you can meet the Swede Armand Duplantis, world record holder, who appeals to music to lock himself in his world, find motivation and concentration.
With the right foot
In soccer, it is common to see players enter the playing field with their right foot, to attract fortune, while others add the gesture of crossing themselves.
NBA star and present in Tokyo, Facundo Campazzo is among the superstitious.
“I have a cabal that I stole from Leo Gutiérrez -former player of the Argentine basketball team-, who lifted his shirt over his head and then gave it to the prop. I do that and think positive things before games”, Revealed the Albiceleste guard in an interview by networks.
Others go for the negative, that is, avoid “bad luck”, as the Mexican golfer Carlos Ortiz, who refuses to hit balls marked with the number two to avoid misfortune, revealed the press of his country.
“Kabbalah on a psychic level has the advantage that it is used as another resource to motivate oneself. From that point of view it is harmless. The disadvantage is if the athlete thinks that without it it would be impossible to achieve the result. Then, it would stop being a resource to become a sad obsession “, Goñi reflects.