Maica García Godoy, water polo player and owner of a hairdressing salon

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Maria Garcia Godoy of Spain celebrates as she scores a goal during the Women's Water Polo Preliminary match between Spain and China on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games  at Water Polo Arena on July 30, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Maria Garcia Godoy of Spain celebrates as she scores a goal during the Women's Water Polo Preliminary match between Spain and China on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Water Polo Arena on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Away from the glitz and glamour of the Olympic Games, dozens of athletes subsidise their sports career by having other jobs. From farming to banking, Tokyo 2020 looks at several hopefuls aiming to make an impact next summer and what roles they have outside of competition. This week, we introduce one of the outstanding players of Spain's women's water polo team and owner of a hairdresser's shop

The deets

  • Name: Maica García Godoy
  • Age: 30
  • Country: Spain
  • Sport: Water polo

Her athlete life

Maica García Godoy is one of the best water polo players in the history of Spain. The athlete is the captain of Club Natació (CN) Sabadell, in addition to being a key player in the Spanish national team for many years. She has participated in two editions of the Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and everything indicates that she will also be in Tokyo next summer.

She has developed her entire sports career at CN Sabadell where she has won all the possible titles. When García Godoy was a child, she became interested in water polo thanks to her brother, who was also a water polo player.

“I used to go to watch him play. I liked watching the water polo matches more than swimming. When I was 10 years old, I switched from swimming for water polo. Now, my brother is the one who comes to see me play", she explained in an interview with the newspaper AS.

With her club, she has won five European Cups, three European Super Cups, 11 Honor Division Leagues of the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN), 10 Queen's Cups and 8 Spanish Super Cups. She also holds the silver and bronze medals of the Royal Order of Sports Merit, the highest distinction granted by the Spanish Government through the Higher Sports Council.

With the Spanish team, she has been Olympic silver medallist at London 2012, a world champion at Barcelona 2013, a European champion at Budapest 2014 - the year in which she was named Best European Water Polo Player- and European silver medallist at Malaga 2008.

In Rio 2016, García Godoy's team fell to Russian Federation in the quarter-finals and were unable to repeat their podium finish from London 2012, something that was a "valuable lesson" for the team according to the athlete.

Next year, she hopes to earn that Olympic gold medal that she lacks, something that would be a dream for her.

"I have clear ideas which I dream about almost every night and I hope that moment comes and I can experience it with all my colleagues," she admitted in an interview with Agencia EFE.

The postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was "a tough moment" for the player, but she believes "that it was the most responsible and reasonable thing to do after what we are living".

During the lockdown in Spain, García Godoy used the time to fix an old problem. Last year, she underwent surgery on her fourth metacarpal of her right hand to make an quick recovery for the 2019 Gwangju Aquatics World Championships where she won the silver medal with her teammates. In July, García Godoy had surgeryto remove a plate and several screws.

Now, once she has recovered, she will return to the pool to train and prepare for the Games, while combining her sporting life with working in her own hairdresser.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23:  Maria Del Carmen Garcia Godoy (#11) of Spain attempts to get the ball but is held back by Anastasia Zubkova (#12) of Russia during the Water Polo match between Russia and Spain at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre during day 7 of the Melbourne 2007 FINA World Championships on March 23, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Maria Del Carmen Garcia Godoy (#11) of Spain attempts to get the ball but is held back by Anastasia Zubkova (#12) of Russia during the Water Polo match between Russia and Spain at the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre during day 7 of the Melbourne 2007 FINA World Championships on March 23, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
2007 Getty Images

Her professional life

Between morning and afternoon training at CN Sabadell, García Godoy uses the time to travel to the business she manages, a waxing centre, barber shop and hairdresser shop located in Sant Cugat del Vallès, about 20km from Barcelona.

The Catalan athlete explains that she opened the business with her brother four years ago, after the Rio Olympics.

“Neither of us knew about this business, but the possibility of investing came up and we opened the shop. I could dye someone, but it would take a long time. When I'm there I help to pick up the phone for appointments, help with the customers or I am at the till", she told Mundo Deportivo.

Like many other businesses in Spain, this year the activity was strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After being unable to work for a few weeks due to the lockdown, the salon reopened. Since then, they have been very busy.

"We have a lot of work. Many people need things to be fixed after trying things by themselves during the lockdown: those who have shaved their hair, those who have cut an eyebrow or those who have cut the hair too short after two too many wines. There was a lot of damage, but if they come here, we fix everything", García Godoy assured in an interview with Antena 3.

García Godoy's hairdresser meets all the requirements to guarantee the safety of clients against possible COVID-19 infections: "The masks, screens, gloves... we are ready", she said in the same interview.

In these years of combining her job with water polo, she has also learned to value her personal appearance more.

“When I started playing, I didn't care about my image, but over the years you take care of your hair, for example. Now, all my teammates all use waxing, hair or skin products. And the boys too. I think this business will never go out of style", she said.

"I do not know when I will retire from water polo, but this is an alternative. Although my priority is still water polo”, assured the international player in the interview with the newspaper AS. The athlete also studied marketing and advertising and would like to start a business in that field in the future.

In any case, right now everything indicates that at least until next summer, García Godoy will be very busy splitting her time between water polo and her professional life running her own business outside the pool.