Knowing that the new generations have references and role models that are synonyms of discipline, professionalism and dedication will always be a reason to be proud of.
When it comes to women, the merit of standing out in areas traditionally assigned to men is more significant. In a society marked by extreme gender inequalities, reaching the top means overcoming more obstacles.
And the sports’ field is no exception; Mexican sportswomen who, against all odds, have managed to place themselves in the elite world of their disciplines, have also left incredible achievements written in the history of Mexican sports.
Sportswomen such as golfer Lorena Ochoa or racquetball player Paola Longoria are just a few examples.
Regarding the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we must highlight the historical legacy that Mexican female athletes have left through their participation in the ultimate athletic event in the world.
Mexico, a nation with a discreet Olympic tradition, had the best Olympic participation in 1968 and 2012, where national athletes collected nine and eight medals, respectively. Women’s accomplishments at the Olympics have been most remarkable since the turn of the century.
Up until the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, 394 women had been part of the Mexican Olympic team, with the highest female participation in Athens 2004 with 50 athletes.
Starting at the Sydney 2000 edition, Mexican sport took a turn for the better. In that year, weightlifter Soraya Jiménez became an Olympic champion and the first Mexican gold medalist. Eight years later, in Beijing, she was followed by taekwondo María del Rosario Espinoza, a multi-medalist and women’s top medal winner in the history of the Olympic games for Mexico.
Since 2000, 55% of the medals won by Mexico have been for the efforts of women athletes.
Gender barriers can be broken through sports.
How can we forget the year 1900 in Paris, when 22 women participated in the Olympic Games and ended the era of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern games and a staunch opponent of the female foray into sports.
It is of vital importance to support women in sports so that there are more successful Mexican athletes. We want another Eugenia Escudero, the first woman in the world to lead a national Olympic delegation; another Enriqueta Basilio Sotelo, the first woman to carry the torch, who also lit the Olympic flame at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico; or another María del Pilar Roldán and María Teresa Ramírez, the first Mexican women to win Olympic medals.
The Mexican sportswomen have evolved and taken their leading role within the national sports, becoming role models for new generations.
However, it is necessary that also through their role as world elite athletes, they encourage girls and young women to achieve their goals without allowing anything or anyone to prevent them from it.
Sportswomen are role models and drivers of female empowerment. Mexican women athletes are a source of inspiration, and we will be supporting them at the Tokyo Olympics.