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Sensei Catalina Rivera: Lawyer, third master’s degree in progress and best karate fighter in America

For the first time in history, a Costa Rican woman is in the Top 20 in the ranking of the best karate fighters on the planet in Kyokushin and is the best representative of America.

Costa Rican lawyer and athlete Catalina Rivera is #17 in the world in the -55 kg category.

Rivera currently lives in Barcelona, ​​to be closer to the European circuit and La República spoke with her in the framework of International Women’s Day.

How do you manage to be Top 20 in the world in karate, work and take your third master’s degree?

He is not the first person to ask me. I think it’s because I don’t like to be still, the truth is, I like to invest my time and not waste it. Discipline, having clear goals, and wanting to achieve them, I think is what makes me organize, focus on what I want, what fills my heart, what gives me peace and meaning in my life.

I feel that life is very short and you have to do what you are passionate about, and enjoy every minute.

What is the legacy you want to leave to women?

What do you think? That we all have our own light, and we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to.

Which woman is the main motivation in your life?

I have three women who are my main motivation: my mother and my two sisters. Each one of them is so different but so incredible, they are my heroines, and each one contributes to my life. My mother, Roxana, is the example of a woman that I have had since I was born, with a giant, strong, hard-working heart, always looking out for my brothers and me. Even today, she calls us every day to greet us and give us her blessing. My older sister, Carolina, has given me the gift of being an aunt, she is a wonderful mother, with incredible skills, focused on her family, and kind, and caring, she is like a mother but as a sister.

And my younger sister, Glori, my best friend, a professional from whom I never stop learning, is sporty, disciplined, and strong in her decisions. The three are my engine. My family is my motivation.

Has your mom suffered a lot when you see her fighting?

To this day, my mom has never seen me fight life, she says she can’t, that she would give her something. Since she knows that Kyokushin karate is full contact, she has always told me that what she feels are worry and great fear.

When I go to tournaments, I know that he doesn’t stop praying, from the time I have to weigh myself until the championship ends.

And later, when he knows I’m fine, he asks me for the videos of the fights to see them. It keeps God and all the angels awake.

Have you ever been a victim of machismo in sport, how did you deal with it?

Sure, it was very difficult. But I always had my dad supporting me. I am extremely close with him, and when I felt I was flagging, he always reminded me of the Kung Fu panda movie, because in it, Master Oogway always said “You must believe”, so I focused on what I love about karate, on which is something very personal and to believe.

What is your biggest dream now?

My biggest dream is to become a world champion. Step by step and without haste. Working for it, always respecting the plans that God has for me.

Also, finish my master’s degree, and, with everything I’ve learned, achieve humane, healthy companies and happier workers. One of my master’s degrees is in occupational risk prevention, I also did a certification in ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ and my current master’s degree is in corporate social responsibility and sustainable leadership.


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