Fernando Pimenta was the special guest of another Planet Eleven, having been live on Eleven Sports’ Facebook. Throughout the program, the 30-year-old Portuguese canoeist spoke about his career, about the 2016 Olympic games, and about future goals.
Fernando Pimenta is the most awarded Portuguese canoeist ever, counting on his achievements with the titles of World Champion and European Champion, among many others. Over almost an hour, the athlete who is part of the Benfica Olympic Project, spoke, exclusively to Eleven Sports, about his career, about the 2016 Olympic games, and about his prospects for the future.
Regarding the 2016 Olympic Games, the Portuguese canoeist says that: “I only saw the video of the 2016 Olympic Games final once. It is one of the most unfair things ever. I cried for 1 hour and a half. After that I hung up, I didn’t even want to hear about sports because it was the toughest day of my career”.
Regarding the conditions of the lagoon in the event that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Fernando Pimenta confesses that “after the final match in Rio de Janeiro we filed a complaint about the conditions of the lagoon, but the complaint had to have reached 20 minutes after the race and arrived later than that. We didn’t know that rule.”
Regarding the suspension of competitions due to the pandemic, Fernando Pimenta states, “I was a little lost and discouraged by the uncertainty of this stoppage period. But I focused on a new goal that was to arrive at a good time in order to the new competition period in August/September”.
As for his goals for 2020, the canoeist says, “I’m going to be a father, that was one of the goals for 2020. The other goal was the Olympic games. I’ve been told that being a father will even improve my focus and my income.”
Fernando also spoke about his experience with slalom: “At 14 years old I tried slalom and it went wrong. I turned due to inexperience, the river was very agitated, I was stranded upside down and could not get out of the kayak. It’s been in my head all my life. My colleagues thought I had gone the other way.”
About signing for Benfica: “It wasn’t until 2018 when I signed for Benfica that I felt like a professional athlete. For example, in this pandemic situation, the club put a multidisciplinary team at our disposal for everything we needed. From doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists… it is a huge support that we don’t even find in the selection. ”
Regarding the future prospects of his career in this sport, Fernando says, “I want to compete another 7 or 8 years. I will no longer reap the rewards of what I am planting, but I want to do it for the youngest, I see them a little lost and some abandoning high competition. If there is no support, we will lose many athletes.”