The path to reach an international podium has been anything but simple for Arantxa Elizabeth Chavez, including many disappointments and obstacles which the diver has had to fight. The young Mexican made up for this at the university sporting competition World Universiade in Kazan, Russia where she won the bronze medal in the three-meter springboard.
Mrs. Elizabeth Munoz, Arantxa’s mother, said that Arantxa started her athletic career when she was five years old and has focused her very determined spirit on achieving success in the sport. To give Arantxa, and her brother Salvador, the opportunity to train and compete at such a high level the family had to radically change their daily schedule, so the young students could focus on their studies and their sport, sacrificing many holidays and other family activities.
"My husband and I coordinated on a daily basis to get the children to school, to pick them up from class, then take them to training. It was difficult at times, but we all got used to eating and sleeping in the car," she said.
Elizabeth adds that through her own professional work in sports at the National Polytechnic Institute she saw many cases and knew of many stories of athletes who over focused on athletics and had their careers cut short for a number of reasons, "so it is important that young people have a degree because sport is only going to be a reality for an undetermined period of time, as parents we have to provide the necessary tools for our children so they are ready for lifelong success after what they have been able to achieve in sport," she said.
Arantxa lived for several years in Guadalajara while the rest of her family was in the Federal District, though the distance has not been an impediment to following and excelling in her sport or in pursuing her studies in Nutrition at Universidad del Valle de México Campus Zapopan.
While Arantxa does not know precisely when she will need to say goodbye to the sport and admits it has been difficult to engage in her studies while balancing in her workouts, completing her studies is next step that looms in her future. "I am very fortunate that I found a university that is of the highest caliber, but also flexible. The degree in Nutrition I am completing at UVM is a must for me, because through it I will be able to help more athletes that like me will be able to better perform through training and proper nutrition."
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.