Kevin Cordon: 6 Must-Know Things About The Guatemalan Badminton Star!

Kevin Cordon

Kevin Cordon whose full name is Kevin Haroldo Cordón Buezo is a Guatemalan pro badminton player. He is considered the architect of one of the most brilliant Olympic careers of any Guatemalan athlete. The 35-year-old left-hander debuted 13 years ago in the Olympic Games, and he was at the brink of retirement before he qualified to the semi-finals of Olympic badminton. Today, he’s still active in the sport.

With a career trajectory of more than 20 years in badminton, Cordón has lived through his best and worst moments in the sport. Yet he maintains the same illusion as 13 years ago, “When I qualified for the first time to play for the Olympics it was a dream to just play a game. It was only later that I started dreaming of winning more matches. And now I’ve already won three here. I can’t believe it ” were the words Kevin stated to the Tokyo 2020 official media.

Kevin Cordon’s Bio: From The Brink Of Retirement To The Olympics! 

1. The young prodigy was born on November 28, 1986:

Cordon’s father is a huge soccer fan, so much so that his name was given in honor of former England striker Kevin Keegan

Like most Guatemalan children, Kevin played soccer for much of his childhood. It was at the age of 12 when he got to know badminton and fell in love with this sport.

“At first, I wanted to be a soccer player, and then badminton came into my life. I had the opportunity to be in the Olympics and also the opportunity to help my family,” said the Guatemalan.

“The reason I chose to coach or play badminton was because of the Olympics. I fulfilled my dream in Beijing, and now in my quarters (Games) it is still the same dream. I am enjoying it more than before,” added Kevin.

In 1998 he had the opportunity to participate in his first official competition. It was in the National Championship held in Quiché and Cordón achieved his first great result by winning the first place in the children’s category. 4 years later, Kevin received the call from the National Federation to train in the capital.

From that moment on, his career as a badminton player began to be formalized. That same year he was called up for the  senior team, having his  international debut  at the  Central American and Caribbean Games (JCC) El Salvador 2002.

2. Awards and career highlights:

He won four medals at the Pan American Games between 2007 and 2019, and nine medals at the Pan American Badminton Championship between 2008 and 2021.

Kevin Cordón participated in the 2008 Olympics in men’s singles. He lost at the start of the second round and was 17th in the final. In 2008, he also won the Peru International and 

the Puerto Rico International. 

A year later in 2009, the pro-athlete was successful again at both events and also took home the victory at the Mexico International. In 2009 he also won two titles at the Pan American Championships. In 2010 the badminton star was successful at the Central American and Caribbean Games.

He participated in four Summer Olympic Games between 2008 and 2020, his best performance was a fourth-place position in Tokyo 2020 in the individual event. He was the flag bearer of Guatemala at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

3. Kevin Cordon and the Olympics:

The badminton player (until 2021) had participated in three Olympic Games — Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

In 2008 he debuted in his first Olympic Games, after seeing action in the Beijing edition. Two years later, he shone at the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Puerto Rico by winning three gold medals. While in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara 2011, he won another gold and qualified for his second Olympic jousts. At the 2012 London Olympics, Kevin achieved excellent results by claiming Guatemala’s first badminton victory.

For the 2013-2016 Olympic cycle, Kevin once again demonstrated his great level, winning medals in the events of Veracruz 2014 and Toronto 2015. In addition, he again obtained a place for the Rio 2016 Olympics. In Brazil, Cordón could not repeat his performance of 4 years ago, due to an injury suffered in the first game and that took him away from the field for several months.

4. Historic participation in Tokyo 2020:

In 2021, Kevin qualified for his fourth Olympics. He achieved a historic performance in the Tokyo edition, in Japan, by finishing fourth and defeating world-class players.

In Tokyo 2020 he achieved the best result of a Guatemalan badminton player in the Olympic Games after reaching the bronze medal game and being among the 4 best in the world. He became the first player outside of Asia or Europe to reach the quarterfinals of this sport in an Olympics. The Guatemalan left-hander, who had beaten the ninth world-ranking player in the Eighths, Angus Ng Ka-long, from Hong Kong, made his way among the eight best after defeating Dutchman Mark Caljouw 2-1, thus becoming the first player out from Asia or Europe to reach the quarterfinals. 

Today, he is even the only badminton exponent to have participated in four Olympic events in a row: Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

5. Continued career:

Kevin Cordon was able to join the High Performance Academy of the International Badminton Federation in Germany in 2005. The following year he began his successful harvest of medals in events of the Olympic cycle, by getting on the podium in Cartagena in 2006 and in Rio in 2007.

In 2011 he managed to become one of the 8 best players in the world after reaching the quarterfinals of the Badminton World Cup, held in England.

At the end of 2016, Kevin returned to sports with a double gold medal at the Central American Championship, which was held in Costa Rica. In 2017 he resumed his participation in events of the Olympic cycle. The first was in the Barranquilla Games, where he won the four-time championship at the Central American and Caribbean level. While at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, he was left with a bronze medal.

6. He was the standard bearer for Guatemala:

In 2008, during the Olympic Games in Beijing, in China, he was the standard-bearer of the national delegation. The athlete was selected to be the standard bearer for the Guatemalan delegation for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara 2011. It is also worth noting that Cordón did not lose any set in the tournament.

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