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Athletes

Kristel
Köbrich
ChileChile, CHI
Female
Open water

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
09 August 1985
Height
170 cm
Residence
Córdoba, ARG
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, German, Spanish

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up swimming at age nine at the German elementary school she attended in Santiago, Chile.
Why this sport?
Her older sisters competed in swimming and she showed potential when she accompanied them to training.
Club / Team
Club Municipalidad: Córdoba, ARG
Name of coach
Daniel Garimaldi [personal], from 2003
Training Regime
She trains for up to five hours a day over two sessions. She combines her training in the water with strength work and stretching.

General Interest

Nicknames
La Alemana, Cobra, Pequena [small or 'shorty' in Spanish, because at her first swimming club all the other girls were older than her]. (diario.elmercurio.com, 23 Apr 2015; feeds.univision.com, 20 Oct 2011)
Hobbies
Sports, reading, watching television and films, cooking. (eldeportetienevoz.cl, 10 Apr 2017)
Most influential person in career
Coach Daniel Garimaldi. (economiaynegocios.cl, 26 May 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Water is my habitat where I talk, I cry, I laugh, I live." (latercera.com, 18 Jun 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2009 and 2018 she was named Best Athlete of the Year by the Chilean Sports Press Association. (elmostrador.cl, 21 Nov 2018; feeds.univision.com, 20 Oct 2011)

She was flag bearer for Chile at the opening ceremony at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (natacionchilena.cl, 15 Jul 2004)
Other sports
She has represented Chile in open water swimming, competing at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, ON, Canada. She also participated in both swimming and open water swimming at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Oct 2020)
Milestones
She became the first female Chilean swimmer to compete at the Olympic Games when she took part in the 2004 Games in Athens. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Dec 2020)

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London she became the first Chilean swimmer to compete at three Olympic Games, and four years later in Rio de Janeiro she became the first Chilean swimmer to compete at four Olympic Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 01 Dec 2020)

She became the first Chilean swimmer to win a medal at the Pan American Games, claiming bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (SportsDeskOnline, 02 Jun 2018; feeds.univision.com, 20 Oct 2011)
Ambitions
To reach the final of the 1500m freestyle at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (tokyo2020.org, 24 Sep 2020)
Other information
RELATIONSHIP WITH COACH
She began working with coach Daniel Garimaldi in 2003 after relocating to Cordoba, Argentina. "I have known him since 2001 but I came to Argentina in 2003 and since then we have had a more consolidated relationship as coach and athlete. It was not because of a lack of infrastructure in Chile, it was a personal decision and I think I was right." (CDF YouTube channel, 12 Jul 2020; latercera.com, 28 Mar 2020)

PSYCHOLOGICAL FOCUS
She began working more on psychological preparation ahead of competitions after she was disappointed with her performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "In Rio I did not like how I competed or the result. That same afternoon I spoke with [coach] Daniel Garimaldi and we decided I needed changes regarding the psychological aspect of swimming. For these changes it will take time but I do not want to give races away." (farodeportivo.cl, 13 Jan 2017)