One month from the start of the Olympics, Denisse van Lamoen, a world champion in archery and graduate from the Universidad Andrs Bello (UNAB) School of Law, won a vote among five names nominated by the board of Chilean Olympic Committee (COCh) to carry Chiles flag in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The other candidates included the fencer Paris Inostroza, the sailor Matias del Solar and table tennis player Berta Rodriguez.
Denisse was finishing up preparations for the Olympic Games in the United States and was planning to go directly to London. However, since she won the right to carry the flag, with more than 30,000 votes, COCh asked her to return to Chile. According to Denisse, "There is nothing more important than my country."
At 13, Denisse (who is now 32), was smitten by one of the most delicate and demanding sports: archery. She lived in Iquique and her neighbors invited her to try it out. She accepted and simply fell in love. "I never stopped," she says. The opportunity to lead the Chilean delegation is a recognition that fills her with pride.
With her training and expertise she is setting her goal to be among the top eight in London 2012. Not an easy goal, considering that at least half of the 64 archers competing in the games are world class athletes, but one she believes is attainable given her technical skills and she says "among the top 8, anything can happen".
She trains between 6 and 7 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. At the heart of archery is the solitude that you need to be self-critical, which is necessary for improvement. The bond she has with Chile is special: "Every time I stand in an international competition and put our flag on the podium, I feel my heart explode, there is nothing more important than my country and I want to make everybody see the Chilean colors.
Denis only needs to complete her law degree exam to become a lawyer, perhaps a trial lawyer, where the arrows dont go to a white spot but the righteous midpoint of social justice. She sends a message to UNABs students: "Try to do everything possible to be happy in the business, profession or art that you pursue" she concludes.
This article was originally written in Spanish and has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.