Hugo was only 10 years old when he began his sports adventure. He did not want to sit idly by while his friends enrolled in various disciplines such as judo, basketball, soccer, volleyball and others. So, inspired by some anime that marked his childhood (Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and the Power Rangers) he chose taekwondo as his summer hobby, which eventually spread to all seasons of the year.
“I quite liked the combat (of the mentioned animes). I really liked to see how they jumped, how they flew and I thought that it was going to be possible to do that in sport. In fact there are quite a few things that can be done. Already the fantasy of these cartoons flies beyond reality. That’s how I got into an academy that was very close to my house. My mom thought it was going to be a summer. Finally I stayed for life”remember.
Curiously, Hugo did not choose the kyorugui (combat) mode as expected. By skill, dexterity and technique, he preferred to make his way in the poomsae. And that choice ended up being the best.
“I like it. I enjoy watching and occasionally practicing combat. However, the conditions in which one develops sportingly in combat are different. You have to maintain a weight, the training is completely different, you need a different size and skills that I don’t have, but in poomsae I have found that I do. I have the body composition, elasticity, bearing and a series of characteristics that help me to be a poomsae athlete. I enjoy it every day that I practice it”Explain.
This is how Hugo began to weave his dreams into poomsae, managing to win medals of different colors in various parts of the world. In fact, he won a silver medal at the World Championship of his modality in 2014. He is also remembered for giving us the first medal (silver) at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. His other achievements are countless. .
In the midst of this adrenaline adventure, the Peruvian taekwondo player never abandoned his dream of being a doctor. Since he has the use of reason he has always wanted to be. Of course, in all his years before entering university, he considered different possibilities as a career. He even confesses that he would have liked to be a pilot. But for him nothing has been more exciting than medicine.
He realized this in 2013, when a tragic traffic accident occurred in front of his eyes. While returning from vacation with his parents, a car slammed in front of him and his helpful instinct forced him to quickly get out of the car to lend a hand to the family who had been injured. He did not yet have any university studies, but the videos that he constantly watched on YouTube about his career served him well at that difficult time.
“They were the father, the mother and two children, the youngest child was a baby. The mother was bloodied, I grabbed a bottle of water that was inside the car and I started to clean the glass splinters that she had. The boy had a couple of lacerations, which I also attended to. I liked the medical activity; however, I liked more that I was able to help the person and that she was able to find support in me. That made me feel quite satisfied.”bill.
The following year, he entered the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC) and nothing could prevent Hugo Del Castillo from graduating as a doctor after eight years of hard work and dedication.
A doctor in the world Top 10: the key
Along the way, Hugo went through endless difficulties. Along with his university career, he led high-performance sports, a mission that has not been easy. But it was necessary. The national taekwondo player never wanted to neglect his two passions and, based on a lot of discipline, he managed to get ahead in the midst of all the obstacles that came his way.
Fortunately, the university where he studied always provided him with the necessary facilities so that he could be absent from classes, or even exams, when he had to face a competition or any important sporting event. Most of her teachers, she says, were flexible in that regard. Then, the key to not throwing in the towel in eight exhausting years has been a lot of organization and discipline, two virtues of poomsae that he has been able to extend to his studies.
“I think that to study medicine you have to be quite disciplined and quite orderly. Poomsae has given me that, it is a series of movements, which have to be quite orderly. You have to be quite a perfectionist. And I think I have been able to apply it quite a bit in my professional area, always following those principles, those values that taekwondo taught me”relate.
Now, all of this has involved quite a bit of sacrifice. Non-negotiable sacrifice. Hugo has had to put aside his social life on many occasions, just as he has also given up family moments. But he has been worth it.
And if we talk about sacrifices, we also talk about hours and hours of sacrificed sleep. “I think a life”, Hugo calculates over all the hours of sleep he lost along the way. Today, the dark circles under the eyes, the migraine and the constant yawning that accompanied him are relatively in the past.
It is clear that Hugo meditated giving up the sport countless times, because he felt -inevitably- that he could no longer bear so much physical and mental exhaustion that studying at the same time represented.
Luckily, in the midst of this great exhaustion, our taekwondo athlete was able to find the necessary motivation at all times to continue competing and representing us in the best possible way. It is not by chance that he has been able to remain among the best in the world in his discipline: today he is 6th in the World Taekwondo (WT) ranking.
“The race progressed and became more intense, and I also increased the pace of the sport. Every time I felt like I could quit, an opportunity would come along, I’d win a championship, another one would come along, and it motivated me. I thought that in the pandemic everything was over, however, poomsae, as it is a sport of appreciation, was able to continue with everything and quarantine. That was a point in favor, which has helped me a lot to stay current in these two years that we had confinement “bill.
It should be noted that Hugo Del Castillo has his own taekwondo academy, which is managed by his mother. The multiple Pan American champion has also had to cope with this additional burden all these years, although he only attends a few times for the boys’ exams, to give a seminar, or to talk with the teachers. Precisely, one of the instructors at his academy is Winnie Yi, current coach of the national poomsae team.
All cycles of the university have been quite hard for Hugo Del Castillo, but little by little he was able to grasp the rhythm and the ‘manaña’ he needed to take his two passions hand in hand. He found, in his own way, the methods and mechanisms to better understand and cope with this stage, both with the general courses and those of his specific career.
Likewise, the national taekwondo player has been quite strict with the times he assigned for the sport and his studies. He never got out of his chair if he hadn’t finished some pending from the university first and he always gave himself the necessary time to continue practicing poomsae. Even in his last year of studies, he organized himself in a very special way to continue at the same pace (perhaps a little more intense) during his internship.
Hugo chose the Naval Hospital as the venue to demonstrate all the skills he acquired in his previous years of study. In a critical time of pandemic, he considered that this medical center is one of those that “More guarantees have been given to its inmates and workers” and for that reason he chose him, a decision that he does not regret at any time.
During boarding school, he had a hard time organizing his times. In fact, he abandoned sports competitions for a time to focus solely on his last year of studies. Still, poomsae remained a part of his routine.
The national taekwondo player had to get up early to train for an hour or two at home. Then he had to arrive early -when the sky was just beginning to lighten- at the Naval Hospital, with the aim of helping all the patients he had to attend to during the day as much as possible. In this intense rhythm, he was often forced to work more than 12 hours to finish all his tasks.
“It was quite demanding to wake up very early, but there came a time when I got into the rhythm. I said ‘ok, maybe I won’t be able to train for four or five hours like I normally would, but I can train for an hour and a half or two hours in the middle of the night.’ If I had to get up at 5 in the morning or four, I would get up at 3 and train. Then I would take a shower, change quickly and go to work. I would come home at 8 or 9 at night, fall asleep and wake up at 3 and train until 5″, narrates.
At that time, Hugo Del Castillo experienced a lot of anecdotes that will remain marked for his whole life, such as when he sprained his knee for practicing a quite dangerous acrobatic right at the time he was in the Traumatology Service at the boarding school. So, the national taekwondo player was used as an example in the hospital in order to explain the mechanism of the injury he suffered.
“It was pretty funny. I sent the video to the doctor (of how he was injured) and he spread it among my colleagues for educational purposes ”remember.
Hugo, who is quite interested in infectology, supported his thesis at the end of last year entitled “Association between sociodemographic characteristics and the prison establishment with the presence of self-reported Sexually Transmitted Infections and acquired in Penitentiary Establishments according to the National Penitentiary Census, Peru 2016″ and graduated as a doctor, the greatest success of his life. Not long ago it was his graduation, where he was recognized not only for his academic achievement, but also in sports, and he couldn’t help but be moved to tears.
“Tears of happiness came to my eyes, of joy for this great achievement, for having completed a fairly long career in a relatively short time. I delayed maybe one more year, not because I failed a course, but because I voluntarily decided to leave it to be able to dedicate myself a little more to sports, because I needed it. I feel quite proud of myself, I feel quite happy to be able to finish this challenge and be able to dedicate myself to this new facet of my life, which I also quite like”express.
Already with the studies successfully completed, what is coming for Hugo in the coming years is uncertain. He wants to live day to day, establishing himself as a professional doctor and without leaving sport aside, although -perhaps- continuing to carry both things hand in hand will be impossible later on.
The future outlook is quite complicated. Hugo shuffles all the possible scenarios. His goal is to be a sports traumatologist, but he wants to do that specialty outside of Peru. This, he hopes, will not stop him from continuing to train and compete whenever possible.
“I never put an end, because whenever I’ve said this is the end or I’m done here, an opportunity always appears, the doors open or they give you facilities. I don’t know if I can make it to the 2022 South American Games for work reasons; however, I will do my best to qualify. In addition, (this year) the Peru Open is coming, the Bicentennial Open, which is going to be here in Lima. For that yes I will be present anyway “analyze.
For now, the national taekwondist plans to carry out the Rural and Marginal Urban Health Service (SERUMS) this year. In addition, he is now preparing himself to face the 2022 Valledupar Bolivarian Games, where he is the great candidate for gold in the traditional individual poomsae category.
“We have a lot of chances for the gold medal. I’m going to fight her. I am quite calm, animated and enthusiastic, because I know that it is a quite feasible goal. My expectation is to grab the gold”point.