Mexican taekwondo fighter Maria del Rosario Espinoza leaves Rio de Janeiro fulfilled by winning a silver medal and with the fame of being the best female athlete in the history of her country. The secret of her success, she said in an interview with EFE, is "competing with all my heart."
Espinoza, who has won three Olympic medals - gold, silver and bronze - in different years, seems satisfied with her performance at Rio.
"I wasn't trying to have all three colors - gold, silver and bronze. In every competition I try to win the gold, but anyway, I'm happy because from my three Olympic Games I have three Olympic medals," the Mexican martial artist said.
Espinoza summed up the key to her success: "More than anything, I always compete with all my heart, I give my all right up to the last minute, always wishing to have our team's dreams come true."
Teamwork was decisive in getting the team motivated, especially the efforts of teammates like Lupita Gonzalez who also won a silver medal for finishing second in the 20-kilometer race walk.
For Espinoza it was highly motivating to see Gonzalez compete, to see her win and to say "she could do it, and so can I." As a Mexican athlete, as a female athlete, for me it was a great inspiration," she said.
She will never forget her time in Rio because "it was the first city where I competed for Mexico when I was starting out and now it's been a great experience to compete again in Rio, one of my favorite cities," said the athlete, who is also on the 2016 Visa Team.
"It has been very important to me to be on the Visa Team for the second time. Visa motivated me so much in 2012 as it did again now in 2016," she said.
Being chosen for the Visa Team has also been a landmark in the career of Mexican diver Ivan Garcia
"It makes me proud to be part of the team since this is one of the largest companies in the world and to know it believes in me really fills me with pride," he said.
Though he's leaving Rio without a medal, these Olympics have been "a beautiful experience" as well as enlightening: "The emotions, the dreams, being in the Olympic Village with the greatest athletes in the world...that is an incredible experience."
Right now he plans to keep fighting to "compete in future Olympics, to be a better person, a better athlete and be an example for everyone."