Solidarity Q&A: Alexandra Escobar
Weightlifter Alexandra Escobar from Ecuador is hoping her Olympic Solidarity scholarship will help her earn a place on the podium at next year’s Olympic Games in London.
How are your preparations progressing as you look to qualify for the London Games?
I’m training very hard in Esmeraldas, my home city, where the government has given me the facilities I need to step up my preparation. I’m in good shape and I’m ready for all the upcoming competitions. I’m looking forward to them and can’t wait for the moment when I can get out there and compete.
What competitions are you due to take part in prior to London?
The most important events are the Pan American Games in Mexico and the World Championships, both of which are qualifiers for the Olympic Games, so I have to work hard to try to improve and ensure I perform to the best of my abilities at these events.
How does your Olympic Solidarity scholarship help you?
It’s a great help. The scholarship enables me to train without having to worry, and allows me to buy what I need for each competition. Thanks to Olympic Solidarity, I’m able to train in my home city so I’m close to my daughter and my husband, which gives me peace of mind and enables me to train in the best possible way. This allows me to devote all my energy to my sport and my attempts to qualify for the Games in London next year.
Do you have any Olympic heroes?
Halil Mutlu, the Turkish weightlifter who won three consecutive Olympic gold medals, would be my Olympic hero. I’ve always admired him – he was my inspiration. He’s so small but he has a big heart and so much courage and strength.
Do you know London?
I have not been to London but I will get to know it. That is another incentive for me to qualify for the Games and I’m sure London is expecting me!
How did you become a weightlifter?
It was my sister who first got me into weightlifting; she competed for a local sports club and I instantly fell in love with the sport.
What is your goal at the Games in London?
What I really want is to step up onto the podium and hear my country’s national anthem. I’ve won medals at all the other major competitions – the South American, Bolivian and Pan American Games, and the World Championships. The only thing I don’t have is the Olympic medal, which is why I’m going to give it everything I have to win one in London.
About Olympic Solidarity
Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that athletes with talent, regardless of their financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees (NOCs)’ share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most disadvantaged NOCs and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. Within its total budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support to athletes for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period.