Along with her physical recovery, Madelaynne Montaño Caicedo, the most representative player in Colombian volleyball, picked up that spark that has always characterized her and accompanied her through the four continents in which she left the name of the high country.
While continuing her rehabilitation process, after two knee operations, the slender athlete stopped to talk about her news, the World Cup and the Colombian national team, to which she wants to return to bring her experience. .
He says his journey has been long, difficult, painful and with many unknowns, but returning to his roots and country has allowed him to receive that extra boost that hugs and sweet words give him, with which , in the street, they recognize everything he has done for this sport.
This is where the key was for Madeleynne, who learned to always give her best and overcome challenges, to gain the momentum that is currently struggling to get back to the short.
If his knees respond to him, he will return not only to seek a place in the Colombian national team, but to play in Europe. He wants to give one last push to retire as he’s always dreamed of, through the front door.
Recall that Madeleynne holds the record for the most points scored in a European Champions League semi-final, with 44 points, in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013 during the Rabita Baku-Yamamay Busto Arsizio match.
How did you experience this ranking of Colombia at the World Cup?
“I almost always accompany the girls in the competition, I was in Barrancabermeja, I lived this whole process up close, the ups and downs. At the time when we won two sets against Brazil and we qualified mathematically for the World Cup, I had a feeling of pride, of accomplishment because even if I was not standing on the court, I know everything we did to get there”.
Will you accompany the national team in the World Cup?
“I’m going to the World Cup, I’ll accompany them like I did in Barrancabermeja, in Bogotá. Also, my son lives in Greece, so I’m going to be in Europe this summer anyway, and of course I’ll be there with them.”
How do you see this new generation of women’s volleyball?
“I am certain and reassured that the new generations have better opportunities. I know a lot of girls who have been there for many years when they were just teenagers, so seeing them do it, with this experience, makes me think and feel that we are getting closer to realizing the dream we had to be in the Olympic Games, and that’s something that makes you fly”.
What are the strengths of this Selection?
“The girls have a big advantage, they played the World Cup in the lower category and went through the process. Many have played four Olympic qualifications and have been abroad for many years (6 or 7), which gives them a high level, because they are in very competitive leagues”.
How do you analyze the group that hit Colombia?
“It’s complex, we are the qualifiers from South America (Argentina and Brazil are the other two) who are direct rivals and we have the Czech Republic, China and Japan. The latter has a very fast volley. The key is what we do against our direct rivals and any points we can earn against others.”
Do you know how the girls experienced the draw and how they are looking forward to the World Cup?
“The vast majority are at the end of the season or have just finished it and that’s why at the time of the draw they were focused on their clubs. They seem very excited. After the draw we were all surprised to ending up with the teams from South America and two powers from Asia. But they are all doing a great job in the leagues, they have been honored as the top scorers, or the best in their leagues. I follow them on the networks social and they show the work they do in the classroom and on an individual level, something that is also very important”.
Do you think about your return to the national team?
“The last few years have taught me to take things day by day, right now I’m focused on getting my body in peak condition and from there we’ll see how things go. But who doesn’t want to not wear the country’s jersey, although I don’t think I’ve ever taken it off, because every success, every defeat, every step forward or every step back, I feel the same”.
How do you feel physically for this challenge to come back?
“I’m very positive and my legs are reacting much better. My will is great, I finally have that necessary motivation to continue, that’s why my goal is to play the 2022-2023 season somewhere, I would aim for Europe because of my family situation, even if I wouldn’t mind not to go back to Asia”.
Have you thought about how or when your return would be?
“I want to feel the adrenaline, the emotion and the stress of competition again, for now I’m continuing with my recovery plan, I feel good. The anxiety is for the day when I can jump again, to see how my body responds to me.
Do you see yourself becoming a coach or manager in the future?
“When they operated on me, I said that I didn’t want to know anything about volleyball, to live a more peaceful life, but being here, I feel that I want to contribute from my experience and be able to learn from the reality that exists here to advance. I want to have this opportunity to use the experience that I have acquired during these eleven years outside the country. I am taking FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) courses, I read a lot, I’m focused on finishing my psychology studies which I started in the United States, and I’m open to anything that comes along to continue contributing to volleyball in my country”.
What is the best thing this sport has given you?
“He gave me much more than I had dreamed or expected. I entered for fun, to compete, to be part of a team and I got to know almost all the continents, there was no lack than Africa. I have lived so many cultures, experiences, I like to read a lot, I speak five languages. I have always set myself higher goals and volleyball has made me realize that there is no ‘There are no limits, to be a better person and to realize that we are that example and hope that young people will rise up and do amazing things. My eyes are watering!’
Last year, you were decorated by the Congress, what do you think?
“Not only for me but for any athlete who wears the country’s jersey, it’s very gratifying to be a reference. This award made me reflect on what my career has been like, being back in Colombia has helped me to see a lot of things, to talk with young people, those who have followed my career, or the current talents that they tell me that they have seen my games and it is very pleasant to feel these hugs and these recognitions in this last part of my career”.
A message for those who are new to this sport?
“My motto is always that dreams are free, but you have to work hard to turn them into goals and achieve them. You have to put them high to achieve them. Sport and studies or whatever they do must be done with great discipline.