It has four Olympic medals on its back (and more specifically, on stone ridges): gold in Beijing 2008, silver in London 2012 and gold and bronze in Rio 2016. However, Saúl Craviotto (Lleida, 1984) has the greatest popularity It has arrived thanks to the latest edition of MasterChef Celebrity, which has won the winner. Also, this fall he has published a book and has just become a father for the second time.
I have been gold and bronze in Rio 2016, winner of MasterChef Celebrity, you have edited a book, you have just become a father for the second time… how do you live this moment?
I’m surfing an incredible wave, really. It’s a good time, both professionally and sportingly and familiarly. I am very happy, living it to the fullest and taking advantage of it, because in other moments of life you usually stumble and fall.
But all this has not come from heaven…
Unclear. It has been based on a lot of work. The medals are obtained by training a lot, the use of police studying for some competitions, the MasterChef currándomelo… Nobody has given me anything.
Since the final was issued I am noticing that they recognize me much more on the street or in the airports or in the shopping centers. To give you an idea: the Olympic final saw some 850,000 people. That of MasterChef Celebrity followed four and a half million, with peaks of eight million. But I try to live life as usual; I continue with my workouts and my routine, with my feet on the ground.
You’ve been training for 17 years and you’re an Olympian, but now you’re known as “MasterChef’s“. It does not bother you?
Not really. It hits me, but it does not bother me at all. I understand how the world of television works. With the program I have reached a much wider audience and different from my usual. People of all ages, from children to seniors who perhaps did not follow the sport, but who as a result of the program has been interested in my track record or canoeing. And I paid a lot! I am proud of my time in the program.
Before MasterChef, did you know how to cook?
I had no idea! Five months ago, you told me to make a plate of lentils and I did not know what to throw them. In fact, in the casting what I did was a hake because I barely knew how to cook anything else. Now I’m not afraid of the kitchen anymore. I have learned to combine ingredients, to make rice, all kinds of fish, cooking techniques at low temperature, baked, grilled… Not to mention the spherifications, foams or siphons, which were previously things that I only saw the TV.
Phew! There have been so many! And not all have gone on camera. I remember that in the AVE back from the outdoor test, in the Rocío, we were alone in the car, we went crazy and we put the music on the speakers to dance, to take off our shirts … a lag. There were many moments like that, they are crazy! The truth is that I had a great time.
How do you control your diet now that not everything is grilled chicken and rice?
I have learned to add a touch of flavor to healthy food. Fish with citrus fruits work great, for example. It is very good that sportsmen take care of ourselves and take the issue of fats or proteins to the letter, but taste is also important. Now I dare to try spices and seasonings that I did not know before. As healthy as before, but more tasty and, above all, I do not obsess.
Since October I am more focused on aerobic training, with long distance work. I combine the canoe with hypertrophy training in the gym, especially for pectorals, dorsal, arms and oblique abs, which are the groups that we must have the canoeists stronger. And then, run or bike. A cardio session in the morning always in the water and then another of a round running around the reservoir of Trasona (Asturias), which are five or six kilometers.
In your hypertrophy training, do you pull more than machines or free weight?
Above all, I use the machines: pectoral, triceps on a pulley… Dumbbells for the biceps. And weighted dominated. I do a circuit of six or seven exercises to crush all the dorsal and pectoral.
What would you say is the best quality of a good canoeist?
For any other sport: the head! To compete, if you do not have a cool head, you do not get anywhere. That is what really makes the difference.
In elite sport, what differentiates preparation from obsession?
You have to try to separate your professional life from the personal one. It happened to me in 2015: I came home and could not disconnect. I was obsessed. If you pressure yourself so much, when the time comes, you come out with fear. It is important to enjoy the path and if you have to drink some canes, then you take them.