Meet Mexico’s Champion and Flag-bearer: María del Rosario Espinoza

On July 11, 2012 by MexicoToday

For the few of you who don’t know María del Rosario Espinoza yet, that is about to change. Espinoza, reigning Olympic champion in the +67 kg weight class for taekwondo, will be the official flag bearer for Mexico in the 2012 London Olympics. In addition to competing for another gold medal in London, she was chosen to represent her country in the parade of nations that will take place on 27 July as part of the opening ceremony.

Born in La Brecha, Sinaloa, Mexico, Espinoza showed potential in martial arts from a young age. After winning the 2003 Pan-American Youth Championships in 2003, this Mexican athlete has been on a mission to dominate the female taekwondo circuit. Espinoza caught the eyes of millions around the world after defeating Nina Solheim of Norway for the gold medal in Beijing. Although taekwondo has only been a full medal sport since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Espinoza has made her country proud through her success and determination in the ring thus far.

After being selected as the national flag-bearer, Espinoza stated that, “this is something so important to my family and me”. Being able to compete in Taekwondo and to represent her nation is an incredible opportunity from her perspective. “For me, it is a dream come true to have the ability to represent Mexico in the Olympic Games, but to be the flag bearer is the culmination of another dream.” At just 24, María del Rosario Espinoza has already made history in becoming the second woman to win a gold medal for Mexico in 2008.

If past performance is any indication of success in the future, then keep a close eye on Espinoza, who has already established herself as the favourite to take home the gold in London. In addition, Espinoza’s teammate and fellow Mexican competitor, Janet Alegría, will compete in the 49-kg and under event in London. The Olympic taekwondo event will consist of a single elimination tournament for each of the weight categories. Coverage begins 8 August.

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