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Marcus Cooper Interview


Marcus Cooper Walz is a Spanish athlete who competes in calm water canoeing. He participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics, in which he obtained the Olympic gold medal in the K1 1000m event. In addition, in his record he has 6 medals in the World Canoeing Championship and 3 medals in the European Championship and recently double gold in the World Cup.

He was born in Oxford, the son of a British father and a German mother… Who is Marcus Cooper Walz? He was born in Oxford but raised since he was little in Cala d'Or, Mallorca. My grandparents' generation were the first to fall in love with the island. I always say that I am of English blood but with a Spanish heart. I consider myself a calm and slightly introverted person but with very clear things and a good balance between seriousness and humor. With my goals in life I am very ambitious. I know how to lose and I know how to win, both cases give me a lot.
What are your characteristics (as an athlete)? I consider myself ambitious and detailed. I expect a lot from my performance in training and competitions but because previously I will have been very detailed, seeking to be as close to perfection in all the factors that may alter my performance throughout the day.


As a child he tried various sports, such as basketball and soccer, but was not hooked and at the age of 12 he started canoeing. Why this sport? Canoeing suited my tastes very well, both sports and leisure in general because it is a very complete sport as it requires strength, endurance, strategy, technique and mental strength. In addition, it is a sport that is practiced on the water, which is a medium with which I have always gotten along very well.
Rio 2016 was the first participation in the highest event in sport at a global level and climbing to the top drawer at the Olympic Games at the age of 21, what sensations did it give you? How is this achievement affecting his career? One of the most difficult questions to answer, my feelings after winning were various; on the one hand I felt the obvious joy of when a very significant success is achieved, on the other hand I felt the surprise of having achieved such a result; and finally, and perhaps more importantly, the confirmation that our results are based on our previous efforts since that year I had sacrificed everything to reach the Olympics in the best possible way.
What memory do you take from Rio? My greatest memory is of when I won the medal and the following days I did not stop celebrating it with my colleagues and family who came to see me.
Do you feel pressure not to disappoint fans or not live up to expectations? Canoeing is the second sport with the most Olympic medals in Spain, just behind sailing. In our country we have a very strong level in canoeing. But we don't feel that pressure. At the moment it seems that there are still enough promising results, at least, we will see future generations.
Looking ahead to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, together with Craviotto, Arévalo and Germade, you will form a team for the k4-500, how do you see the boat? It paints very well, but that's because our track record allows us to think like that. We are not going to ensure that we will achieve a medal, much less the gold, but we are aware that we will be fighting for it. We go with very high ambition and we know that we are worth a lot.
In terms of mental preparation, how do you deal with stress, sleepless nights, weight loss, and how do you stay motivated from day to day…? I think you get used to both stress itself and stress management skills. It really is a positive stress, a stress that you like because you know it is getting you on the right track. In the end it is a feeling that makes you feel alive and entertained. The motivation is based on the ambition and the effort and sacrifice that one is willing to invest, it really is as simple as that.

Finally, as an islander, what area of ​​Mallorca would you recommend?
I've always been drawn to the Levante area. Portopetro, Cala d’Or, with its Ibizan style, pine forests and hidden coves, has an ideal environment for a relaxed family vacation. Cala Esmeralda is one of my favorite beaches.
For an extra dose of relaxation and rest after a competition, I choose Inturotel Cala Esmeralda. An adults-only hotel with spectacular views over the cove and the Mediterranean Sea. A refuge to disconnect and from which to explore this beautiful area of ​​Mallorca.



What link do you have with Inturotel?
My grandparents lived next to one of their hotels, I have grown up with them as a neighbor. I can say that it is one of the highest quality hotel chains in the area, its gardens are dreamlike. A few years ago the opportunity to collaborate together arose and since 2018 they have been my sponsors. I hope that together we can take Mallorca and Cala d’Or to the top.


Marcus Cooper Gold Candidate at TOKYO 2020.


Cabrera: a day in paradise
Cabrera: a day in paradise
A mere ten kilometres from Cap de Ses Salines, and very close to our Inturotel hotels on Mallorca, lies the Cabrera archipelago, a genuine unspoilt paradise in the midst of the Mediterranean that has been a Maritime-Terrestrial National Park since 1991, because of the wealth of flora and fauna it contains. How would you like to visit it with us? When you visit Cabrera, keep your camera at the ready at all times, because it is highly likely that you will catch a glimpse of dolphins, turtles, cormorants, ospreys and Iberian wall lizards (podarcis lilfordi, the characteristic lizard of the Balearic Islands).   Fauna: Did you know that the waters of Cabrera are home to the greatest diversity of fish in the entire Mediterranean? In total more than 200 species, as well as molluscs, crustaceans, sea birds, reptiles, mammals... An outstanding feature of Cabrera’s fauna is the large colonies of seabirds: Scopoli’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the European storm-petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus), Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii)… The seabed around Cabrera is rich in both vertebrates and invertebrates, like colourful nudibranchs. Groupers are typical, as are octopi and Mediterranean morays (Muraena helena)...       But in addition, these waters are a sanctuary for larger animals, such as common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melaena), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).       The noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), one of the largest bivalves in the Mediterranean (up to 2 metres), can live for up to 50 years, and is an endemic species whose main habitat is the Posidonia oceanica meadows. A high rate of mortality has been recorded in noble pen shell populations since 2016, due to a parasitic disease that has brought them to the brink of extinction. Thanks to thousands of calls reporting sightings, we have at least five survivors on the islands. Three of them have been moved to the Cabrera National Park and are protected by cages to prevent the usual predators of Pinna nobilis, like the octopus or the gilthead bream, from eating them. Will they survive? We certainly hope so.   Flora: More than 500 species of vascular plants, 22 species of moss, 21 of lichens and 162 of seaweed co-exist in Cabrera! Some of the more striking species are Balearic Island buckthorn (Rhamnus ludivici-salvatoris) or the Balearic peony (Paeonia cambessedessi).     The island of Cabrera has been uninhabited since it was declared a National Park in 1991, except for the rotating shifts of the staff who manage the park. Previously, it was inhabited by several Mallorcan families who made a living from fishing and farming. Today the island is a sublime destination for engaging in activities in nature’s heart, such as snorkelling, diving (a permit must be obtained in advance), hiking (always on the marked paths), birdwatching… or simply breathing and relaxing in an atmosphere from a bygone age.     Several boat companies in the nearby Colònia de Sant Jordi will take you to Cabrera, on a pleasant sea voyage lasting one hour. A trip to Cabrera implies staying on the island for the whole day, and as well as enjoying the island’s idyllic beaches or discovering its fertile sea bed, there are many more things to do there!   You can visit the highest point of the island, where the 16th-century castle stands, built to protect the island from the Berber pirates who came from North Africa with the aim of putting in at Cabrera and using it as a base from which to attack Mallorca. It has been destroyed and reconstructed on several occasions throughout history. The worst destruction took place in 1550, when the Turks attacked. Don’t miss the chance to view the island’s beaches and scenery from the top of this imposing vantage point!   Cabrera also offers visitors a botanic garden, an ethnographic and historical museum and a small bar in the port (which looks like something out of a novel – a refreshing drink in the shade of its grapevine is an absolute must). As for beaches, there are several to choose from, ranging from the sandy to the very fine stone variety, and even some located at the foot of the spectacular cliffs. But without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight is Sa Cova Blava (the “Blue Cave”), formed by calcareous rock. When the evening sun falls on the water in the cave, it gives rise to a spectacle of light that lends a magical blue tone to the sea. A “zen” experience that you will take away with you as a lifelong memory.     If you aren’t up for the boat trip but still want to find out more about Cabrera and the seabed around it, one great alternative is to visit the Cabrera Interpretation Centre-Aquarium in Sa Colònia de Sant Jordi, which is just 40 minutes away from your Inturotel hotel in Cala d’Or.   When you reach your Inturotel hotel on Mallorca, the reception staff will be delighted to supply you with all the information you need to enjoy your unforgettable trip to Cabrera to the full. Happy adventuring!   Some sites of interest: caib espais protegits        
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