Fernando Pimenta came third in the kayak single (K1) event in Tokyo, adding to the silver medal which he won at London 2012.
The Portuguese is an IOC ambassador against competition manipulation and an active voice in the athlete community promoting clean sport.
Performing at your best and staying true to yourself will help you create a legacy to be proud of.
After a difficult last year, I was so happy to be at the Games in Tokyo. To finish this Olympic cycle with a medal was so important to me personally. Being at the Games as an IOC ambassador against competition manipulation is a great opportunity, too; not just for me, but for the wider Portuguese athlete community.
In my opinion, it is very important to create awareness, and inform and educate athletes about the dangers of the manipulation of sports competitions. Only by doing this regularly can we fight for cleaner and healthier sport.
In April 2021, I spoke at the IOC Advanced NOCs Virtual Training on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions webinar, where we want to educate more athletes, and I really think the most important thing we can do is provide information.
When we start as athletes, we often don’t know how the rules work. Some even break the rules without knowing, which is why we need to educate the general athlete population, but in particular the younger athletes.
Some even break the rules without knowing, which is why we need to educate the general athlete population, but in particular the younger athletes.
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t, but the most important thing is knowing that you are being yourself and performing at your best.
Leaving a legacy
As you become a better athlete, you have the opportunity to take on more sponsors, too. Make sure to be yourself and try your best – it’s even more important not to break the rules when you have great sponsors. You need to be more responsible and carry on improving to take on more.
At the end of your career, you want to look back and say: “I did my best.” Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don’t, but the most important thing is knowing that you are being yourself and performing at your best.
Personally, it is gratifying and a source of pride to be an ambassador for the IOC and the Make the Right Decision project to help promote good practice in sport, and for athletes of all sports to know the risks of manipulating results.
Margarita, my daughter, is definitely going to be proud of her dad. She will continue to see her dad conquering sport, and I hope to have her on the podium with me one day in the future!