Latino Athletes from Minnesota Trying Out for the 2022 Winter Olympics
Three Latino athletes from Minnesota qualified for the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and will tryout for the 2022 Winter Olympics representing Mexico and Venezuela in cross-country skiing. There are maybe only six Latinos from around the world that will be competing at the events this year and three of them live in Minnesota, including the first Mexican woman to ever compete at the events and the sole Venezuelan on the team. We had the opportunity to interview all three Latino skiers from Minnesota over the phone just before they flew out to Germany, get to know about them below.
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is a biennial nordic skiing event organized by the International Ski Federation (FIS). This year the events will be held from 23 February to 7 March 2021 in Oberstdorf, Germany. The cross-country ski races (5K for women, 10K for men) where our athletes will compete are scheduled for February 24th and will be televised on NBC. This year’s events are also a tryout to qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Regina is 28 years old, from Mexico City, and the first woman to represent Mexico at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. She is a 4th year medical student at the University of Minnesota (U of M) going into emergency medicine. She began practicing cross-country skiing about a year ago looking for something fun to do outside of school during the Minnesota winters.
Knowing that she is the first Mexican woman ever to participate at this world championship has motivated her to train fiercely. This competition means a lot to her because she could earn the chance to also represent her country at the 2022 Winter Olympics. She wants to inspire other women to try cross-country skiing and sports in general all over the world. She also encourages Latinos in Minnesota to participate in winter sports and increase Latino representation at this sort of events since most of Latin America does not have access to snow. Additionally, she wants to be an example to show other college students that it is possible to continue their education while pursuing other endeavours. She believes that education is one of the best investments you can make in your life.
When she is training she likes to listen to all sorts of music depending on the weather, her mood, and the difficulty of the training; her music playlist includes indie, house, reggaeton and other latin genres. But when the training gets too hard she calls her mom to cheer her up. Typically she likes to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, however, while training she has had to be more strategic about her diet considering her intake of carbohydrates and proteins. Recently she started trying energy gels in between trainings. Leading up to a race she drinks lots of water and electrolytes, she likes to ride the course a day before the race and then at night she imagines the course thinking of strategies for the race.
Jon Soto Moreno
Jon is 27 years old, from Durango, Mexico and has been living in Minnesota for the past 17 years. He began skiing in high school 15 years ago as he wanted to get in shape for the spring sports and wanted something fun to do in the winter. He also likes to cycle, run, and in the summers he likes to roller ski to stay in shape for winter skiing. And he enjoys hanging out with family.
He is motivated by the adrenaline, he like pushing his body to its limits and gets boots of relaxation from skiing. He feels proud to be one of the few Mexicans that come from Minnesota that is going to try out for the upcoming cross country Skiing Olympics and said that “It is an honor to represent Mexico and Minnesota like this, I like representing my roots, It inspires me to always give it my all”.
During training, he jokingly said he likes to eat “frijolitos con Queso jaja” but also eats lots of vegetables, fruits, and tries to limit his meat intake as well as avoiding fast food; he also does not drink soda and tries to stay hydrated. While training he likes to listen to classical music, electronic, or Banda, and sometimes no music at all. Leading up to the race he will not talk to anyone a couple of minutes before and tries to picture the route and think of strategies that will help him win.
Jon’s message to the community is “Hechenle ganas! Poco a poco puedes lograr lo que quieras!” Also to not be scared of the cold in Minnesota “it is important to try a winter sport, it makes living here a lot more enjoyable. And if you see us make it to the Olympics say hi, support your local Latino Athletes we do genuinely appreciate it!”.
You can follow Jon Soto Moreno on Instagram @jon.ski.mexico.
Eduardo Arteaga is 43 years old, from Venezuela, and the sole Venezuelan representing his country at the 2021 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. He has lived in Minnesota for the past 20 years and currently works for US Bank in their Technology Marketing department. He helped start the internal Nosotros Latinos Business Resource Group for US Bank. Additionally, he likes to participate in triathlons and ultramarathons.
Eduardo began skiing eight years ago and has been doing it competitively for the past three years. He was introduced to skiing by a neighbor when lived close to the historic Theodore Wirth Park. Two years ago he realized that he is quite fast and good at the sport, and he feels happy to know that he can compete at this level. “I am humbled to be part of this experience and I am beyond proud to be one of the only Venezuelans in the ski competitions” said Eduardo. He is motivated by the fact that sports like skiing keep him young which will allow him to be a good husband and father for a longer time.
He watches his diet during training avoiding alcohol, lactose, and reducing food from animal products to only 1-2 times a week “I have noticed that when I cut out meat from my diet it improves my recovery time”. He does not always listen to music while training because it eliminates half of the experience for him and prefers to listen to the sound of the snow, keeping his mind clear and relaxed. He likes to meditate the night before the race as well as the morning of the race.
You can follow Eduardo Arteaga on Instagram @theleaderguy.
MN Latinos will be cheering for these talented Latino athletes from Minnesota to win at the championships and qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. We are excited to see Latinos embrace the winter of our northern state and we hope to see more participation from our community in winter sports.