Patrícia Mamona is a Portuguese triple jumper. In October 2018, two years away from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (which were then postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic), I started visiting Patrícia’s training sessions at Centro de Alto Rendimento do Jamor in Lisbon. We had a simple arrangement: I could film or photograph without restrictions as long as she didn’t have to interrupt any of the exercises. Her discretion and focus made me feel almost invisible, as I either anticipated some of her exercises or was overtaken by others.
Her training sessions usually take place twice a day, including short and explosive workout with weights at the gym, as well as jumping and running. Most of the exercises are aimed at fine tuning muscle precision, bodily balance and jumping technique to generate fitness peaks during the competition periods. Day after day, this rigorous and intensive practice needs the highest degree of discipline and self-awareness to ensure that the body is pushed to the limit without suffering any harm. This lonely and repetitive routine involves a careful balancing act of the body and mind, juggling determination and ambition with exhaustion and anxiety, often being months away from any competition.
As she enters the training ground, Patrícia knows that she is her only competitor. That she jumps against herself.
It was a long and complicit process that lasted until September 2021, a month after she won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, setting a new personal and national record of 15.01 meters.
Patrícia is the portrait of a woman and athlete, of the body and mind at work. A portrait of a solitary performer.
José Pedro Cortes
15.1x21 cm, 184 pages
Hardcover with dustjacket
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Book out in March 2023