Sandra Sánchez, a Spanish Olympic gold medallist in karate, would fly back to Tokyo today if she could. "I really want to go back ... to continue learning and to continue growing as a person and as a karateka," she says.
Sánchez says after going to the Games, the city of Tokyo holds a special meaning for her. "The feeling when you know you're going to your first Olympic Games, the first Olympic Games for karate, in Japan, in Tokyo, which is the birthplace of your sport. Well, imagine the excitement."
The whole Olympic experience was special for Sandra. "From the moment you realise you’ve won until they give you the medal, I just thought 'I want to see it, I want to touch it, to feel that it’s real, that it’s mine.' I was crying with emotion," she recalls.
But the Olympic medalist's love affair with Tokyo started before competing in the Games, and her enthusiasm for the city goes beyond the sport. "Any neighbourhood you get to know, any place, any temple that you visit, is always impressive," she says.
Japanese cuisine was another highlight for Sánchez, with sushi holding a place at the top of her list of favourites. "Choosing my favourite food from Japan is difficult because I like lots of things. I really love everything about sushi," she explains.