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Lake Garda - Sport & outdoor

Road to Tokyo 2020: interview with Juan Ignacio Maegli, Olympic sailing champion – Part 1

Tell us a little about yourself: who you are, how old you are, where you come from. Have you already had other Olympic experiences? What team do you represent?

Hi, my name is Juan Ignacio Maegli, I am 32 years old and I represent Guatemala in ILCA 7. I have already participated in 3 Olympic Games, and Tokyo will be my fourth.

In Guatemala, sailing is not a very popular sport. What made you to get into it, and at what age did you start sailing? Did you start with Optimist or other types of boat before?

Sailing is not a common or popular sport in Guatemala, very few of us practice it. I started very early because my father was a sailor. He also participated in 3 Olympic games and then continued sailing in Guatemala. I started when I was 5 years old, sailing with him in the Hobie Cat 16 class, then at 7 I started on the Optimist.

You have already represented Guatemala in other Olympics, and you’ve even been flag bearer: what emotions did you feel? How did you experience them?

All my experiences have been different, with both happy and difficult moments. Being flag bearer for my country has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I had the honor of being the flag bearer in London, and a few days ago I was chosen to do it again in Tokyo! It is a great honor not just in terms of sporting level, but also because it reflects the values ​​I represent when I compete!

Juan Ignacio Maegli vela2

Tell us about a typical day during your Olympic preparation: what time do you wake up, what do you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, what kind of training do you do in and out of the water? Who coaches you?

A typical day here in Riva del Garda always starts with breakfast and a good coffee on the balcony of my apartment. I try to have a good breakfast, as days in the water are quite physically demanding. I usually do two workouts a day: sailing and some physical training, either in the gym or bike training. Here on Lake Garda it is very easy for me and I enjoy training both in the water and on a bike, because the conditions are very good. With these excellent conditions, every time I come to train here I feel I’m taking a qualitative leap in my preparation.

You are always travelling all over the world. What are your favourite places and why? What advantages do they have compared to other places?

Thanks to sailing, I was able to get to know many different countries and cultures. I spent a lot of time away from home and this has taught me to appreciate what I have close to me. My favorite place is Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. It is a very beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains and 3 volcanoes. It’s a nice place to surf and mountain bike!

My second favourite place is Lake Garda. Being away from home, it is a place that makes me feel at ease, where I have a lot of fun and can enjoy all the sports I like. It is an amazing place for sailing, kiting, windsurfing, mountain biking and eating very well!


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