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His Abuelito Worked In The Fields And He Wants To Pay Him Back With A Gold Medal

@kingxkarlos / Instagram

Meet Carlos Balderas, one of the boxers representing Team USA at the Olympics.

It's now or never . . . .

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

Balderas, a lightweight, could be the first American boxer to win an Olympic gold medal since Andrew Ward, who struck gold at the 2004 Athens games.

The 19-year-old from Santa Maria, Calif., wants to bring back a gold medal from Rio. Not just for the U.S., but to pay back his family for all the sacrifices they’ve made.

Credit: USA Boxing / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: USA Boxing / YouTube

In the ’50s, Balderas’ grandfather, David, left his wife and eight children to look for work in the United States. He eventually saved enough money to bring his family — including Carlos’ father, Zenon — to the U.S.

My grandpa went from sleeping in the strawberry fields to watching me fight at the Olympic Games . ???? #GodisGreat ?

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

David Balderas, who is now 88 years old, worked in California’s strawberry fields for decades to earn a living for his family.

Carlos’ mother left his family when he and his brother were toddlers, so his grandparents helped raise him. But he was a handful.

My biggest motivation…

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

According to his father, Carlos was a happy, hyper kid who got into a few fights when he was picked on at school.

Young Los always been thuggin ??

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

Carlos’ father and abuelito decided to enroll him in boxing classes, figuring it would teach young Carlos some discipline. It worked.

Thuggin since Youngins ??❗️ #throoowback ?❕

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

When Carlos was 7 years old, he and his older brother Jose were taken to a local boxing gym. The owner told them to return when the boys were older, but their father noticed a boy around the same age training in the gym. The owner explained that it was his grandson, who had already been training for months. According to the Los Angeles Times, Carlos’ father made a bet with the owner: if Carlos could beat the kid in a fight, he wanted to owner to let them stay to train. Carlos won.

Carlos actually fell in love with the sport, and soon, his father and uncle became his trainers.

Credit: USA Boxing / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: USA Boxing / YouTube

When it became clear that Carlos was a standout, the Balderas family made sacrifices to ensure Carlos had every opportunity to succeed.

2016 is all business ? . . .

A video posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

“My dad had to sell his car… my grandpa had to sell his watch one time to give us a little bit of money to leave to a tournament,” said Carlos Balderas in an interview with USA Boxing.

Thanks to Under Armour and to USOC for the visit.

A photo posted by Zenon Balderas (@zenonbalderas) on

Throughout the years, Balderas has had to make a few sacrifices of his own. Due to an intense training schedule, he didn’t quite have a normal teenage life.

Whats good ? ?

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

But Balderas told Team USA he understands it’s all part of the plan. “I try to keep my body very healthy and try to be very dedicated. I stay away from parties and stay away from liquor.”

All the work has already led to his Olympic dream becoming a reality. It’s a dream he predicted two years ago:

Just another hard day of training at the Olympic training center. ? #2016 #futureolympian #goldmedal #oneday ???

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

Balderas, who is blessed with fast hands and quick reflexes…

Credit: Pepe Sulaiman Boxing / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: Pepe Sulaiman Boxing / YouTube

That’s him in red.

Has already proven he has what it takes to medal, winning his first two fights in Rio.

First victory over Kazakhstan ?? S/O to all my people who are supporting, much love ??? #SantaMaria #AllGlorytoGod

A photo posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

If Balderas wins his next bout, he’s guaranteed a medal. And for the 19-year-old fighter who usually speaks with his fists, standing on the podium in Rio is his way of telling his family “Thank You.”

2 weeks away before flying out to Europe ✈️?? #Pressplay ▶️ #2016olympichopeful ?✊

A video posted by KARLOS BALDERAS ?? (@kingxkarlos) on

“My family came from nothing. It feels like, this is sort of a way to pay them back. I feel like this is only halfway. The other half is arriving in Brazil and bringing back a medal,” said Balderas to USA Today.

Watch Carlos Balderas and his family speak about their road to Rio:

Credit: USA Boxing / YouTube

READ: Her Parents Couldn’t Afford Running Shoes, Now She’s An Olympian

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Heres What You're Like As A Novia According To Your Sign

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Heres What You’re Like As A Novia According To Your Sign

Most Latinas have this unspoken ritual of reading their daily horoscope before leaving the house every morning – or watching Walter Mercado every evening. Whether you believe in horoscopes or not, your sun sign says a lot about the kind of girlfriend you are…

Aries: Intense & Passionate

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Your partner better be ready to deal with a full-blooded, independent, forceful woman. Whoever wants to catch this woman better put on their running shoes — it’ll be one hell of a race! Aries embodies “las mujeres son complicadas” to a tee. You want freedom and absolute togetherness at the same time – even if you don’t know what it means. Celosa is an understatement when it comes to you, but it has nothing to do with lack of confidence, you just love to have the entire cake for yourself.

Taurus: Seductive, Yet Traditional

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Your killer smile and sensual attitude might have people thinking you’re fácil, but are they wrong. You won’t take being anyone’s second choice or one night stand, you aim to be a lifetime, caring and giving companion, and will not settle for less than the number one spot. Your prospective partner better be ready to woo you and pursue you, even though you probably have your mind made up since the first time you saw this person.

Gemini: You Already Know What They Call You…

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You have a multi-dimensional personality – which can be confused for being two-faced. On one hand, you want to be adored, admired and cared for, but the stronger side of you yearns for stimulation and novelty. Atrapar tu corazón is hard task, most potential partners will become dull in your eyes faster than they can say “buenos días.”

Cancer: Timid, But Low-key Sensual

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You’re shy, sweet, yet never very forward. You send a couple of subtle signals when you like someone, but will not do much more, you’re too protective of yourself to deal with potential rejection. You look for a partner that’ll give you love and security – so you start planning the kind of house you want to live in. If he dares mess with you, you will never fully trust that sucker again.

Leo: Queen Of The Jungle

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You’re perfect, and anyone who states otherwise is estúpido. Most praise you, admire you and shower you with applause when you’re around. You don’t like to lose, so you’d rather not get into the race. If your potential partner so much as expresses his interest for another woman, it’s boy bye.

Virgo: Logical & Perfectionist

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People who don’t really know you think your corazón is as cold as ice. It’s not that you don’t have feelings, it’s more like you find no use for them. You take your sweet time to choose a partner because you hate failure above everything else and because your partner needs to be perfect. Whoever wants to be with you will require a lot of patience.

Libra: You’re In Love With Love

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You view seduction as an art form, and people might take you for a flirt just because you love to socialize. You could be a protagonista de novela, as your love life is filled with intense emotions and drama. You can’t deal with the concept of being single forever, but it’s difficult for you to commit to a real relationship. You’re a creative, but often times lazy lover. ¡El amor is such hard work!

Scorpio: Demanding & Jealous

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Whoever is thinking about having you as la otra, can turn around now. You’re not one for sharing, neither are you interested on being anyone’s one night stand. You’re extremely possessive and jealous, but your partners would agree it’s worth the while. You can drive people mad… and bring them back to live with a single sonrisa.

Sagittarius: Adventure Seeker

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Whether it’s jumping off a cliff into the deep waters of the sea or taking a last minute trip to Mexico, you crave adventure and treat your love life as such. You’re pretty positive, but hate people who try to domesticate you. If things aren’t working out for you, it’s quite easy for you to say adiós. You yearn for an adventure companion but unlike other signs, love is not the end goal of your life.

Capricorn: Extreme Romantic

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Aunque la gente no lo crea, it’s hard for people to imagine you being all passionate and extravagant, but that’s your true nature. El amor a primera vista is as real to you as a pink unicorn. You want someone who will love you and cherish you BUT you will not come near him until you’re done watching his every single move from a safe distance. They better not try to fool you, either — you will take your sweet time until the mask drops.

Aquarius: You Just Do You

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You know how most people would put out an impeccable facade of perfection when they first start dating? What a waste of time! You are not a macho’s trophy and will not follow any lead, but your own. Te vale madres what the rest of the world thinks, you’re unpredictable and that’s that.

Pisces: Total Dreamer


You’re mysterious and you know it. This drives potential partners on an unstoppable quest to figure you out. Your natural softness and innocence makes others want to protect you and care for you. Eres pura sensibilidad and will quickly look for an exit if what you hear or see doesn’t sit right with your gut. A strong, decisive and protective man will be your perfect match. To you, love is a top priority and anyone who puts you second to, say, a love for fútbol, will not get far with you.


READ: Types Of Latino Boyfriends We’ve All Dated

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