Jun 20, 2024

The heart city, as Santiago de los Caballeros is known in the Dominican Republic, is the birthplace of Madelyn Rodriguez, one of the athletes whose story is full of resilience and pride.

Madelyn, 24 years old, with great determination, achieved her qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, during the Taekwondo Qualifying Tournament held in Santo Domingo, defending the house last April.

During a conversation with Centro Caribe Sports, the native of the second Dominican capital, told of the obstacles she had to overcome during almost a decade in the sport, including how she handled several personal events that kept her away from the sport at one stage of her life.

“This sport has changed my life, it has given me a lot of security and strength,” said the second Dominican taekwondo woman to qualify for an Olympic event.

She won a place in the minus 67 kilograms (-67 kg) category, joining her teammate, Katherine Rodríguez, as the only women in this sport to compete in the Olympic Games for the Dominican Republic.


Rodriguez started taekwondo at the age of 13, even though she did not like the discipline at first, and describes it as the sport that changed her life, giving her confidence and self-assurance.

Since she was a baby girl she has had projections of a great future, being the qualification to the Olympic Games one of her accomplished goals.


The road to her career unfolding has been filled with obstacles for Rodriguez, including the loss of her father in 2016, a devastating blow that came just before a major international competition.

A short time later, Madelyn faced the death of her grandfather, who could not bear the loss of his son (Madelyn’s father). In the midst of that grief Rodriguez discovered she was pregnant, but for her this responsibility did not stop her from continuing her dream.


Madelyn got her Olympic ticket, defeating Claudia Gallardo 2-0, at the Volleyball Palace of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center.

Rodriguez still feels it’s a dream every time her qualification is mentioned. “There are no words to describe the meaning, it is a lot of work and sacrifice,” said the 24-year-old athlete with nostalgia in her words.

In addition, she indicates that she is proud to have achieved the qualification, because she will represent the women of Quisqueyano taekwondo, after being, along with Bernardo Pie, the only ones to reach the ticket in this event held in the Dominican capital.

Bernardo Pie and Madelyn Rodríguez, who achieved Olympic qualification in Taekwondo for the Dominican Republic and will be in Paris 2024. (Credit: MIDEREC)
Bernardo Pie and Madelyn Rodríguez, who achieved Olympic qualification in Taekwondo for the Dominican Republic and will be in Paris 2024. (Credit: MIDEREC)


With satisfaction, Madelyn says she is proud of everything she has overcome to achieve this goal, and to be able to represent her flag in the next Olympic Games.

While for young people her story leaves a word of encouragement and invites those who encounter obstacles to get up and not give up.

Written by Helen Acevedo


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