How Luis Ramón Garrido Esquivel Earned His Place in Paris 2024

Luis Ramón Garrido Esquivel's journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics is a tale of triumph over adversity. From injury setbacks to illness, he persevered, securing his spot through sheer determination.

How Luis Ramón Garrido Esquivel Earned His Place in Paris 2024
Luis Ramón Garrido Esquivel, Mexican badminton champion, qualifies for Paris 2024 Olympics amidst adversity. Credit: CONADE

After finishing his participation in the XXVII Pan American Individual Championship in Guatemala, Luis Ramón Garrido Esquivel mathematically consolidates his qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, via the Badminton World Federation (BWF) international ranking.

The athlete, champion in the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023, closed the continental competition in the quarterfinals round of the men's singles against Brazilian Olympian Ygor Coelho by a score of 2-1 (21-19, 16-21 and 16-21).

“I felt pretty good, I had had some problems in the past three months due to an ankle injury, but in this Pan American I could see that my level and all the work we did paid off, I felt like I was again, always the continental competition is quite strong, I was close to take the victory, but I am happy to have sealed the Olympic ticket,” he commented.

The Pan American Individual Championships in Guatemala was the last scoring event for the national team towards Paris 2024, since the BWF international ranking will close next April 28, but it will be on April 30 when the allocation of the Olympic slots will be made official: 35 men and 35 women, so before the imminent classification, Ramon Garrido would be the only Mexican who is within the first places worldwide.

“I'm quite happy about the classification, just waiting for it to become official. It has been a chaotic year in this Olympic process, which is how long our path to achieve the ticket lasts, it was a year of giving the best scores for the world ranking, and now it is over, I am still trying to process the moment, since less than 10 months ago, I could not imagine that I would be in this position,” he shared.

After an illness that almost took his life away in 2016, dodging eight knee surgeries and overcoming the uncertainty of knowing if he would ever play at his same level again, Luis Ramon Garrido assured that these last 10 months have been a path of mixed feelings, but in which he continued to make history in Mexican badminton.

The player from Nuevo León became Central American champion in San Salvador 2023 and obtained for Mexico the first individual men's medal in the Pan American Games with his bronze in Santiago 2023, among other national and international titles that brought him closer to the Parisian goal, which is why he qualified the past year as one of the best in his sports career.

“I wouldn't have visualized it this way, to close all that with this Olympic ticket the way I did is something that I don't think I could have imagined even in my best dreams, for me, Paris 2024 is a dream come true,” he shared.

“For every high performance athlete it is the pinnacle of his career, it is what we all dreamed of when we were little, when we saw them on television, it is a personal overcoming, after so many surgeries, that the doctors told me that I would not be able to play again, that I would not move the same, the disease, injuries, after all that is to be able to say I made it, it is the culmination of all this process so painful, sad, but so beautiful at the same time,” he said.

For Ramón Garrido, the next summer competition would be his debut and will place him in the history of national sport, becoming the second Mexican man of the discipline, which debuted in the competitive calendar in Barcelona 1992, to compete in the Olympic event after what was achieved by Lino Muñoz Mandujano in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

“Lino is a reference in Mexican badminton because we know how complicated an Olympic process is, and he has two Olympic Games in his career, it is to be admired. Now is to continue with that history and what we all want to do is to improve it and try to win the first Olympic Games for Mexico, that's my goal, to try to give a fight to the best in the world,” he explained.

With 15 weeks to go before Paris 2024 starts, he will begin his preparation in Monterrey, which is his training center, but he will attempt to add European activity and at the end of June, he explained, he will compete in a US Open in the United States, the only competition before the great event in the 'City of Light'.