What a difference a year(ish) makes! In the summer of 2010, Tamara Vega was pinching herself at being at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010, where she finished a respectable 10th place in the modern pentathlon.
Almost exactly a year later, in August 2011, the Mexican athlete won the Youth A World Championships in Turkey. A pretty awesome achievement for any 18-year-old, but Tamara’s ascension in the world of modern pentathlon didn’t stop there.
This month, she has achieved her ultimate goal: securing her qualification place for the London 2012 Olympic Games by taking bronze at the Pan American Championships - making her one of the first YOG athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games!
“This was my dream forever,” said an understandably excited Tamara, “so I’m very, very happy.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Tamara. After an under-par performance in the fencing, she “lost all hope for the medal”, but she credits the Youth Olympic Games for equipping her with the qualities to keep calm and carry on.
“The Youth Olympic Games were my first big event and gave me a lot of experience. I learnt to understand not to ever lose control.”
A place in history as one of the first athletes to compete in a Youth Olympic Games and now one of the first YOG athletes to qualify for London 2012? It could all be a bit overwhelming. But a modest Tamara is keeping philosophical about her achievements. “I just give all of me and now life has given me a gift,” she explained.
The YOG DNA force is strong with this one! A virtual high five to all those athletes who, like Tamara, never give up!