5 Women Who Made a Difference in Tokyo 2021

After a year of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finally, these five women who have been successful at team sports will fight for a medal in the Tokyo games.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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In this global event, Spanish women will participate in various sports such as basketball, hockey, artistic gymnastics, water polo, and handball.

Spanish women athletes have made great efforts to succeed in a patriarchal society. At the end of the 20th century, women who participated in professional sports were very strange in the country until Barcelona 1992. Almost thirty years and seven Olympic games after, women represent most of the trophies at the Olympic games for the country, thanks to their participation in artistic swimming, water polo, basketball, handball, and artistic gymnastics.

The teams integrated by women returned to the biggest and most widely recognized sports event on the planet, the Tokyo Olympic Games. After a year of delay, the event will finally take place. Besides the importance of their participation in this great event, they dream of highlighting the role of women in sports as a field that used to be dominated by men. Let's meet these five warriors.

1. Shandy Barbosa (Handball)

She is 35 years old and she adds positivity to the team with her dancing. She is originally from Cape Verde and was nationalized in 2012 after arriving in Spain in 2005. She became a mother two years ago.

2. Txell Mas (Artistic Swimming)

She is 26 years old and started dancing with her sister in 1994. After twenty years of practice, training 8 hours per day, 6 days per week, this student of psychology had to quit biomedicine and will finally participate in the Olympic games as captain of the Spanish team. After 8 years on the artistic swimming team, her dream of being in the Olympics will finally come true. Even though she believes that these games will be different due to the pandemic, she is very excited to be there will all the support of her friends and family.


3. Georgina Oliva (Hockey)

Oliva is 30 years old. She is the daughter of Jordi Oliva (Olympic games in Los Angeles and Seoul) and sister of Roc (winner of silver medal in Beijing). She has played since she was five. Even though she is captain of the team, she combines sports with work in data analysis. She also graduated as an aeronautical engineer with a master's degree in Big Data.

4. Anni Espar (Water Polo)

She is 28 years old and she debuted with the team when she was only 17. She is known as the dragon of the team, due to her discipline and talent. Anni studied business administration and also studied an MBA. She has already won four times at Champions but still aims for an Olympic gold medal.

5. Laia Palau (Basketball)

She is 41 years old and has been captain of the team since 2014. She has been awarded 12 medals during the 19 years that she has been playing with the team.

As mentioned by Anni Espar, the Olympic games are an extraordinary opportunity they have to show many women what we are capable of and to make them feel powerful enough to fight sexism. Palau also mentioned that they have the chance to participate to show the population of their country. Half of the triumphs of Spain are a result of the hard work of women. Finally, Georgina Oliva remarks that as professional sports players, they have the chance to do anything that once only men could do, and we must teach everyone to pursue their dreams.

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