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Jesús Tortosa, when taekwondo is the family: “It was the plugged in, everyone expected me to lose”

Gabby Barker



Tokyo 2020 Olympics



Jesús Tortosa Jr. will look in Tokyo for the medal that pays off the family pending account. At the age of 18, he was fourth in Rio as his father, a pioneer, in Seoul 88. “I am stronger, faster, but I cannot become obsessed,” he admits.


Jesús Tortosa, with his parents, in his gym in Alcobendas.

This report begins with the films of Bruce Lee and Wang You, with a child who dreamed of martial arts in the Spain of the 70s. Continue with the love story between Jesus and Mary Joseph, with his little ones crawling on the tapestry and it ends … There is no end, at the moment, because Jesús Tortosa (Madrid, 1997) son is just 21 years old and will look in Tokyo for what he was about to achieve in Rio at 18, that his father stroked in Seoul more than 30 years ago: the Olympic medal that closes the circle of passion and dedication of the 'Taekwondo family'.

In the gym of Alcobendas the children run around, hallucinated with the flashes and with the kicks for the camera of their idol. «It is the image of my childhood, my brothers and I in this same tapestry, throwing ourselves in anger because we fought …», recalls Jesus, while his mother smiles, also dressed in the 'dobok' for the occasion. She practiced karate, but when she met Jesus (father) … After Celia, the firstborn – who is now studying to be an actress – Jesus son, of course and also Hugo, who dreams of being a politician. Everyone was in Rio, crying the lost medal, that golden point that momentarily frustrated the family illusion. «It affected me. I was with Eva (Calvo) and Joel (González), who played an amazing role. I felt that my effort had no reward, I was the only one who stayed at the doors. I came to ask, will all this be worth it? Sacrifice, diets, training, family, friends … You say, bye, so far we have arrived », be honest, overcome that bad drink that was a lesson.

That lament of honey on the lips coincides with that of the father and confirms what he pronounces with that pride of one who is reflected in a mirror: «We are cloned. We look alike in everything. In the way of competing, in the way of being. Quiet, cold. And he even studies the same as me: INEF in Madrid ». To Jesus, father, pioneer of taekwondo that extended in our country the Korean teachers sent To promulgate his faith in the national sport, the Games also left him a round without paying. «In Seoul I felt sunk, I didn't know where to go. He was runner-up in the world, European champion, one of the favorites, and in the draw I played the Korean … », he laments that other fourth place.

After retiring, he set up his school, was a national coach and the seed he planted had an early extension in its stems. Although that, the last name, can also be slab. «He has always accompanied me. It has weighed and helped me at the same time. We were the Tortosa, my father was the coach, I was plugged in, whom everyone looked at, the one everyone expected him to lose. My brothers and I have had to prove that we deserved it. Until I was a junior world champion, people kept thinking that my father helped me, ”protests Jesus, son, who sent Korea a summer at 15, today and one of the strongest medal options in the entire world. Spanish delegation in Tokyo.

Because if he stayed a centimeter as a teenager … «I'm in my best version. I'm stronger, faster, I have more fighting behind my back. But I can't get obsessed, ”he says flatly. And the father corroborates: «I see him more mature, more trained as a man. In Rio he was a child, he needed a little more control, someone who was indicating, directing, holding.

That someone is Miguel Angel Herranz, His trainer. And also Pablo del Río, the psychologist. And that change is the routine of those who live in the CAR, dedicated to sports and study. Of whom, despite measuring almost 1.90 meters, you always have to look at the sidelong scale, not to exceed 58 kilos. And for him, recognized foodie, who has opened an Instagram account with his girlfriend where they comment on the restaurants they visit, is a challenge. «If I have a free period, I take advantage. But in season I have to control the diet, eat everything clean. And then removing quantities, I cut a little liquid … But it is a sacrifice that I have chosen ».

Not everything is physical. «Here, neither the strongest nor the fastest wins. Win the smartest. Being an opposition sport, if you propose a good strategy and you are smart, you can win anyone. I use each opponent as an exam », he acknowledges.

But let's go back to Bruce Lee and Wang You. «We were impressed with his films. The birthday gift I asked at 13 was to sign me up for taekwondo, ”admits the father, who reveals the desire shared by the son, and by the mother and brothers of the 'Taekwondo family'. «We don't talk so much anymore, but I have it stored inside me. The challenge of overcoming him with an Olympic medal

The Olympic test of Jesús Tortosa

Your favorite memory of Olympic history?
The final of the 100 meters of Usain Bolt in Beijing 2008. There I told myself, I want to be one day in that important event.
If he achieves a medal, where would he go to celebrate it?
Al Diverxo, which is the first on my list of outstanding restaurants and is for a big celebration.
What athlete do you admire?
To Ricky Rubio. I like his way of being, how he overcame the things that have been happening to him. I read your interviews and I love them.
Your forbidden food?
Juancho's special hamburger, which they say is the best in Spain. I love. Every time I can skip the diet, I go there.
Is it linked by social networks?
Yes, yes … You are a better known person, there is some interest in you … But I have a girlfriend and I am very focused on her.

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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Gabby is someone who is interested in all types of sports, she loves to attend watching matches live. Whenever there is a match being played in her city, she makes sure to get the tickets in advance. Due to the love for sports, she joined Sportsfinding, and started writing general sports news. Apart from writing the news, she is also the editor for the website who checks and edits every news content before they go live.

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