Rio de Janeiro, March 23 (IANS) World bicycle motocross BMX champion Stefany Hernandez has revealed a disappointing result at the London 2012 Olympics was the turning point in her career as she strives for gold in Rio this year.
The Venezuelan took time away from the sport after failing to make the final in London, a break she now attributes to her stunning rise to the top, reports Xinhua.
“I realised that the only person between me and an Olympic gold medal was me myself,” the 24-year-old told Rio2016.com on Tuesday.
“Competing in London was an adventure for me, a challenge. I had achieved a dream: To become an Olympian. But after that there was a big change in how I thought. I told my coach that I want to be Olympic champion in Rio.”
Stefany began training harder than she ever had at her training base in Switzerland and reached the final of the 2013 world championships in New Zealand.
Last year she went a step further when she was crowned world champion in Belgium by outperforming the United States’ Alise Post and Australia’s Caroline Buchanan.
She said her ability to maintain a positive mindset would be key to her gold medal chances in August.
“When we understand all the strength that is inside us, when we start to give our maximum in training every day, then we have everything we need to win,” she said. “I am always searching for the best version of me.
“First you must win in your mind, then you feel the energy in your blood.”
Apart from Post and Buchanan, Hernandez’s other main rival in Rio will be Colombia’s world No.1 and defending Olympic champion Mariana Pajon.