Swimmer Matti Mattson, exhausted after taking bronze in Tokyo. (Photo: TVE)
Finnish swimmer Matti Mattson has come to the Tokyo Olympics in the best sporting moment of his life. This Thursday, after an exciting race, he took bronze in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke final.
Mattson finished behind the champion, the Australian Izaac Stubblety-Cook, who achieved the Olympic record by setting a time of 2: 06.38, and the Dutchman Arno Kamminga, who did 2: 07.01. For his part, the Finn stopped the clock at 2: 07.13.
But the trajectory of the 28-year-old swimmer from Satakunta has not been easy at all. His last years have been full of obstacles and far away is that bronze that he achieved with 20 years in the 200 meters breaststroke of the Barcelona World Championships, held in 2013.
From Barcelona to Tokyo, from 2013 to 2021, Mattson has lived his particular way of the cross, which has made him not perform in the pool as he promised. In Rio de Janeiro, where he promised to win gold, he did not even reach the final.
His body did not respond to him and they could not find the explanation … until they found it. The Finn suffered from two health problems that directly affected his performance.
Two years ago he was diagnosed with celiac disease. This deprived him for years of carrying out the proper training sessions, since he did not digest food correctly, to seek the best possible condition, something that affected him in the races.
In addition, three years ago she also suffered from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that caused her to lose all of her hair, including that of her eyelashes or eyebrows, in a matter of weeks. This is precisely why Mattson is not required to wear the hat in the pool.
“Now I do not have to shave anything, while other colleagues do,” jokes the swimmer in a statement given to the Finnish media MTV.
Now with the bronze in Tokyo, Mattson seems to have left all the problems behind to find himself in the best moment of his life. This was what he told a group of Finnish journalists: “I am living my own dream. I have two young children and I am swimming an Olympic finals ”.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.