Esmeralda Falcón Will Be First Mexican Woman To Box At Olympics And Credits Bruce Lee For Her Determination

She’s been boxing for years, winning her first round at a very young age. But today, Esmeralda Falcón is recognized as the first Mexican female to box at the Olympic Games. Like so many of us, she credits her success and determination to her family – but also to Bruce Lee.

Her journey to the Tokyo Olympic Games began years ago in the living room of her house in a Mexico City suburb, where her father would watch Bruce Lee movies with her and her brothers. Now, she’ll be representing Mexico at the world’s most important athletic competition.

The Mexican boxer is making history at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

For the first time ever, Mexico will have a female boxer among the members of its Olympic team at the 2020 Tokyo Games to be held this July and August.

Esmeralda Falcón of Mexico City will represent her nation in the women’s lightweight (57–60 kilograms) division of the boxing competition at the Summer Olympic Games, which will start in the Japanese capital on July 23, a year later than originally planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 25-year-old’s journey from schoolgirl to elite athlete can be traced back to the living room of her childhood home. It was in these formative years that her father would watch Bruce Lee movies with Falcón and her brothers – setting her on the path to sports greatness.

“… Since I was a girl, I wanted to be like Bruce Lee, jump like Bruce Lee, defend and attack like Bruce Lee,” Falcón told the newspaper Milenio. To emulate Lee, Falcón wanted to learn Chinese martial arts, or kung fu, but in her search for a gymnasium, she first found one where boxing was the sport of choice. And she decided to stay.

Her journey hasn’t been easy with many in her family worried for her health and safety.

One of the biggest challenges she faced along her path to the ring, were the other female members of her family who questioned her choice. “In the beginning, my mother and my sister didn’t agree [with my decision to box] because they said that it was a dangerous sport … and I could get hurt,” she told Milenio.

“My dad and my brothers told me to think carefully about the decision but that if it was what I wanted, they would support me,” she said. At the age of 18, Falcón decided to take her passion for boxing to another level and dedicate even more time to training with the aim of succeeding in competitive boxing.

But her family came around and helped propel her on her journey to success.

In the same year that she turned 18, Falcón became the national champion in her weight division and would later go on to win a gold medal at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games and a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan American Games.

Also in 2019, the boxer achieved another dream by joining the navy and beginning a physical education teaching degree at the Naval University in Mexico City. “Since before I was a sportswoman, my intention was to study in the navy,” she told Milenio. While continuing to study for her degree, Falcón is training hard for her Olympics debut, which is now less than two months away.

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