Nobody defines precision and timing the way the one and only Carolina Marin does. She’s known for her strong attacks and ability to perform excellently in high-pressure situations. Currently, she’s the world’s seventh-ranked badminton women’s singles player and fifth-ranked on the world tour. Carolina is a living legend; her journey to where she is now and where she’s headed has been marked by much hard work and dedication.
From a Dancer to the List of the World’s Best Badminton Women’s Singles Players
Born on June 15, 1993, in Huelva, Spain, Carolina María Marín Martín, or Carolina Marin, had a different career plan as a child. Young Carolina was a keen flamenco dancer, a highly-accomplished performer who loved dancing, just like her mother. However, her life changed when a friend introduced her to badminton.
Young Carolina fell in love with the sport and stopped dancing to focus on it. She started playing at the La Orden badminton club in Huelva, coached by Fernando Rivas. Carolina developed her left-handed playing style and debuted in Brussel’s international U15 tournament in 2005.
After winning countless games, Carolina is now considered one of the greatest badminton women’s singles players of all time. She may not have become one of the world’s best flamenco dancers, but she did go on dancing — Badminton style.
Carolina on the Court
Carolina Marin has achieved so much at a young age, starting with her gold medal at the 2009 European U17 Championships. She was also the first Spanish player to win a grand prix gold title (2013 London Grand Prix Gold).
In 2014, she won the gold medal at the European Champions and became the first Spanish player to bring home a gold medal at the BWF World Championships. Carolina was 21, the youngest European to win the gold at the tournament. She has also become a finalist in many games, including the following:
- Australian Open Finalist (2014)
- Syed Modi International Badminton Championships Finalist (2015)
- YONEX German Open Finalist (2015)
- YONEX-SUNRISE India Open Finalist (2017)
- Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open Finalist (2017)
- Oue Singapore Open Finalist (2017)
- Perodua Malaysia Masters Finalist (2018)
- Barcelona Spain Masters Finalist (2020)
Carolina Marin has also been a champion in countless tournaments, making her a feared opponent by many.
- Scottish Open Champion (2013)
- London Grand Prix Gold Champion (2013)
- YONEX All England Open Champion (2015)
- Maybank Malaysia Open Champion (2015)
- The Star Australian Open Champion (2015)
- YONEX French Open Champion (2015)
- YONEX-SUNRISE Hong Kong Open Champion (2015)
- YONEX German Open Champion (2017)
- Syed Modi International Badminton Championships Champion (2019)
- Thailand Open (Super1000) Champion (2021)
In 2016, Carolina Marin won a gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games, defeating her great rival, P.V. Sindhu of India, in straight sets. At that point in her career, she was already considered a giant in badminton, but this win cemented her legacy as a major badminton champion. Besides being an Olympic gold medalist, Carolina Marin and her fans take pride in her other multiple titles:
- 4x European Championships Gold Medalist (2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018)
- 3x BWF World Championships Gold Medalist (2014, 2015, and 2018)
- 2x DAIHATSU YONEX Japan Open Champion (2017 and 2018)
- 2x Victor China Open Champion (2018 and 2019)
- 2x Daihatsu Indonesia Masters Finalist (2019 and 2020)
- 2x French Open Finalist (2019 and 2022)
Unsurprisingly, the incredible badminton player caught many brands’ attention. She signed with the Japanese sports equipment manufacturing company Yonex and has been seen winning games with her iconic Nanoflare 700 and other Yonex products. During the 2023 Indian Open, she was also sponsored by Movistar, Santander, LaLiga, Iberdrola, and other big global brands like Toyota, Amazon, Sony, and PlayStation.
As a master of precision and timing, Carolina Marin also wears Maurice Lacroix. She says, “Time is not merely the minutes you spend on a badminton court; it influences everything in my life.”
When the Body Says “Stop”
Learning about Carolina Marin’s impressive career makes her seem like an unstoppable badminton player. She had grand wins year after year, and she was consistently the best in the game. She even reached the 30 Under 30 – Europe – Entertainment list in 2018! In 2019, however, Carolina Marin sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in her right knee during the Indonesian Masters final.
She took a break from the circuit to recover and returned in 2020 to prepare for the Tokyo Games. Unfortunately, she sustained another ACL and tore both menisci in her left knee in 2021. During the 2023 India Open Super 750 tournament, Carolina Marina said,
“It was tough physically, but especially mentally. When you have to practice every day with pain, finally you have to accept it; otherwise, it frustrates your mind.”
Allowing herself to pause is one of the many things that made Carolina Marin an unforgettable badminton player. Her longevity and commitment to badminton made her a powerful figure and an inspiration to many. Nowadays, she’s continuing her training, stating that she’s not scared to face anyone.
The Other Carolina
Another impressive aspect of the fiery badminton player is her openness. In her first big interview since her 2021 injury, Carolina Marin talked about the two Carolina Marins: The lion, or the wolf on the court, and the house mouse.
On the court, Carolina Marin is aggressive and loud. She’s a killer. But when she’s off it, she’s an extroverted girl who loves to laugh and spend time with her family and friends. Unlike the Carolina on the court, the other Carolina is loving, affectionate, nice, and soft.
Perhaps the biggest reason many love Carolina Marin is because her story is about discipline, resilience, and passion. One of her most memorable lines, “I can because I think I can,” has been imprinted in many minds, inspiring them to push their limits and never give up.
Carolina for Another Olympic Gold
Carolina Marin has already achieved so much but is nowhere near stopping. After the big splashes early on in her career, her painful injuries that had her pause, and her exciting journey back to the court, Carolina Marin is preparing for another Olympic gold.
The attacker, precision, and timing master fully knows she’s no longer as young as other players. She’s focusing on caring about her body, not pressuring herself, and not falling short of motivation.
It’s undeniable that Carolina Marin is one of the leaders of a generation of legends, and she’s not done yet. Badminton fans worldwide await her comeback to see what other incredible feats she can achieve. Whichever direction she takes, she’s already a badminton world champion.
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