Evelyn García, an athlete from the Effort and Glory Program of the National Sports Institute of El Salvador (INDES), wants her participation in the San Salvador 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games to be special and unforgettable. In the regional fair, which the country will organize again after 21 years, the Santaneca cyclist wants to green up her laurels with a gold medal in the time trial.
Motivated by the support during the management of the ad honorem president of INDES, Yamil Bukele, the Santaneca cyclist also sees the San Salvador 2023 Games as the unique opportunity for a triumphant return to high competition after a three-year absence that she defines as “involuntary”.
“The first option is our country, I ran in the 2002 games and for the country to organize an event of this level again, is what has inclined me to compete and since INDES trusts in my work and that I have continued to be active; I was waiting for the opportunity to arise… It would be something more than great to run again in games that I never imagined would be in the country again. We have to work hard these four months,” said the silver medalist at the Guadalajara 2011 Pan American Games and bronze medalist at the Toronto 2015 Games.
Evelyn highlights her motivation and optimism for returning to an Olympic Cycle competition and revealed that her medal hopes are in the women’s time trial. “This time I will be inclined to run the time trial and the road test, but as the main objective, the time trial, which will be on July 7, and I aspire to gold, that is our objective”, explained the cyclist from Santaneca who began to pedaling in 2000.
García practically emerged as a potential figure in cycling with the 2002 Games and sees the San Salvador 2023 Games as an opportunity to relaunch her career.
“In the 2002 Games I was very young, I won silver and it was like gold for me. I competed against the Mexican Belén Guerrero, who was an Olympic medalist, and two decades later to be back in the velodrome and compete at home will be exciting, ”she emphasized.
After representing El Salvador at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, García keeps intact the dream of bringing more joy to the country, through medals.
“I came back after my pregnancy, I prepared myself and we won a medal in Toronto and already with a view to qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, everything went uphill and I was forced to step aside for a moment. It was an absence of three years, because there was no good communication with the federation at that time”, recalled the athlete who has 23 years of sports career.
Despite being out of the official competitions of the Olympic Cycle, Evelyn remained active as a cyclist in Jaén, Andalusia, Spain, where she has the support of her husband Carlos Manuel Vega and the motivation of her twins Mariana Sofía and Ariana Lujan.
“I continued competing, I got into the mountain biking modality to stay active, and I have not gotten off the bike at any time, then we resumed a work plan with INDES, with the management of Yamil Bukele, we talked and I presented a plan of work which we started in 2020, but with the COVID pandemic, the cycle for Tokyo, which was the objective, stopped. After El Salvador took over the headquarters of the Central American and Caribbean Games, the sights were set on this event”, she explained.
Evelyn also visualizes 2023 as a year of great demand and sporting opportunities. “It is a very critical year, because the Central American and Caribbean Games and the Pan American Games have joined, in October, there is the qualification for the Olympic Games, so it is a very complicated year to choose what we do, so, the first option is to compete in our country with the Central American and Caribbean Games”, he reiterated.
In view of her participation in the San Salvador 2023 Games, Evelyn plans a three-month training base in Medellín, Colombia, where she will fine-tune technique and strategy for the time trial and route, with coach Pablo Velez.
“My motivation is to bet on the gold medal as always, every day at work is thinking about that. Outside of motivation is the commitment that is greater, because the games are at home and after so much time in cycling, it is a pressure, but a good one, which makes me better and gives me more confidence. The fact that I continue is because I trust my work and I know that I can execute that challenge, ”she emphasized.
Evelyn also sees positive that El Salvador is organizing the oldest regional fair on the continent for the third time.
“It is a great challenge that El Salvador has assumed by organizing the San Salvador 2023 Games after a pandemic and in record time, which has caused, in us athletes, a strong desire to win and to make an effort. Let’s hope it’s the start of something great for the future and the next Olympic Cycles. Everything is profit in the future”, added Evelyn.
Source: INDES Santiago