Tag Archives: Alejandra Valencia

Trouble in Mexico (part 2)

13 November, 2015

alejandra valencia

Alejandra Valencia with Luis Alvarez in the background.

The Mexican sports pages have been filled with news this last couple of days saying that Alejandra Valencia had been queda fuera del equipo nacional i.e. dropped from the national team, after she apparently failed to attend a training camp in Mexico City prior to the country’s first Olympic squad selection trials.

Senior coach Lee Wong said: “Alejandra Valencia did not show up and therefore her right (to be automatically selected) was lost, and now she must compete on Saturday and Sunday to re-enter.” It seems she is able to join the other athletes invited for selection, but has been knocked down a level or two.

Alejandra said to the press: “I was never sent official notice of anything, just by WhatsApp. If they had given me a plan of what will happen, I would not complain and accept it… but I did not receive anything. ” She also stated she has not had any sporting interactions with the head coach at all.

It appears that Alejandra received a message on short notice through WhatsApp for an pre-training camp meet in Mexico City for the Games selection, but not any official notice or details, and then either “refused” to go or simply did not have enough notice to drop school and family to do so. Reports in the press seem to indicate a lack of clarity in the selection process, or at least a failure in communications.

Ale’s main concern is that she wants to train at home in Sonora with her own coach (where the conditions are apparently very similar to Rio) rather than remain at a lengthy training camp, which is reportedly supposed to continue right up until the Rio Games.

Some of the other athletes have spoken out about the lengthy training camp with an interesting mix of determination and resignation. Luis Álvarez said: “It’s not about being comfortable, it’s about doing what you have to do, wherever and whenever that is.” Karla Hinojosa said  “I had to leave my school, my family, my coach and my boyfriend, with the goal of realising my dream of making it to the Olympics.”

Senior coach Lee Wong seems to be very invested in conditioning the archers to train in Rio-like conditions. Once the training center in Mexico City closes at the end of the year, the archers will move to a camp in Playa del Carmen (on the Yucatan Peninsula) for the heat and humidity; the archers will also be headed to Vegas in January and the final national team will be determined at the conclusion of the early 2016 World Cup stages.

There have been well-documented issues in Mexican archery recently, with ongoing financial and management issues between the governing body and the national Olympic committee (CONADE). Whether this issue is related to that drama is unclear.

Many elite athletes have succeeded at the Games over the years by staying outside (or partially outside) an official programme, and many others have been deselected for the same reasons. It would be a disaster for Mexico if their women’s squad – a good shot for a medal – lost one of their strongest competitors with Olympic experience, and the sport generally would be much poorer without Ale, the 2011 Pan-American champion.  Let’s hope Mexican archery gets its act together as soon as possible.

Thanks to Dario Maciel for assistance. 


question time: Alejandra Valencia

1 July, 2014

Alejandra Valencia, 19, has been part of the Mexican recurve team since 2011. She won two gold medals (team and individual) at the Pan American Games in 2011, and qualified for the World Cup Final in Paris last year. She is currently in Legnica in Poland shooting at the World University Championships. In English y Español (véase más abajo).

How do you keep calm just before you are going to shoot?

I breathe – and then I concentrate on what I am going to do. I just focus on my technique.

Do you have any particular warmups or rituals before going to the line?

No, I only do the normal sorts of warmups, and then I just get ready!

What would you do to raise archery’s profile for the public?

It would be good to have more broadcasting of the competitions, maybe give more exhibitions in places, things like that.

Is there a version of the sport that could attract new audiences?

Well, what is happening right now with the movies that are being released, recently there was that streak where almost all the movies had someone using a bow and arrow, that helped a lot for people to get to know archery – that is going to be the thing that helps people know the sport and get interested in it.

What is your favourite sport apart from archery and why?

I like all sports, really. I can’t choose anyone in particular. Sorry! :S



Alejandra Valencia at the World Cup finals, Paris, 2013.

What is your greatest strength?

My greatest strength, maybe, would be that I am very calm when I am doing things, so I don’t panic easily.

What does an ordinary day in your life look like when you are preparing for a tournament?

I go to university in the mornings and train in the afternoons, although sometimes I train in the mornings before going to school. That’s it.

What is the best advice you have given to someone else?

Hmmm… I would say “train as if you were competing and compete as if you were training.”

Do you believe in luck?


What is your favourite country you have visited through archery?

Hmmm…. I think that Holland is nice. I like Amsterdam very much, I’ve only really been there for four hours, but it’s very calm, very clean and very beautiful. 

What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?

A perfect Sunday would be to sleep late, peacefully, no homework, no worries, and being with my family in the afternoon.

Why do you keep doing it?

Why do I continue doing archery? I don’t know –  perhaps because I get a lot of fun out of it, and I never get bored!


and lastly,

What are you drawing next? (Alejandra was drawing a new picture on her Facebook page every day)

LOL… well, that was a challenge to draw something new every 30 days, but I lost it!  But I’m always drawing something, every day. I love to draw.



via http://www.sondeportes.com/

via http://www.sondeportes.com/

¿Como mantienes la calma cuando vas a tirar?

Respiro y me concentro en lo que voy a hacer, me enfoco en mi técnica.

¿Haces algún calentamiento? Kabala? Ritual?

No, solo hago el calentamiento normal y despues me alisto para tirar.

¿Qué harías para dar a conocer a dar a conocer a más personas el perfil de un arquero?

Tal vez teniendo mas difusión en cada competencia, dar exhibiciones en lugares o cosas así.

¿Hay alguna versión o algo diferente del tiro con arco que tú crees que pueda atraer a un nuevo público?

Lo que orita esta funcionando  son las peliculas que estan saliendo, hace poco hubo una racha donde casi todas las peliculas tenian a alguien que usaba un arco y una flecha, eso ayudo mucho a que la gente conociera este deporte y se interesara por el.

¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito aparte del tiro con arco y por qué?

Todos los deportes me gustan, no podria elegir uno en especial :S

¿Cuál es tu mayor fortaleza?

Mi mayor fortaleza sea, tal vez, que soy muy tranquila en cuestion de hacer las cosas, no entro en pánico fácilmente

¿Cómo es un día común en tu vida cuando te estás preparando para un torneo?

Voy a la escuela en las mañanas y entreno en las tardes, a veces entreno en la mañana antes de ir a la escuela

¿Cuál es el mejor consejo que has dado?

Hmm…. yo creo que seria el de ”entrena como si compitieras y compite como si entrenaras”.

¿Crees en la suerte?

Tal vez, si.

Cuéntanos como es un Domingo perfecto para tí.

Un domingo perfecto seria dormir tranquilamente hasta tarde, sin tareas, ni preocupaciones y poder estar con mi familia en la tarde

Cuál es tu país favorito,  en el que hayas estado, para tiro con arco, y por qué?

hmm… yo creo que holanda, me gusto mucho amsterdam y aunque solo estuvimos 4 horas  la ciudad estaba muy bonita y tranquila, ademas de limpia

¿Qué te mantiene practicando  el tiro con arco?

que me mantiene tirando? no se, tal vez sea porque me divierte hacerlo y no me aburre

¿Cuál será su dibujo mañana?

Jajaja… pues eso era un reto de dibujos de 30 días pero lo he perdido, pero yo siempre estoy dibujando algo nuevo cada día. Me gusta dibujar.


More on Alejandra:

Good piece by ESPN here (in English), with some background. 

Video piece by ESPN here (en Español).

Special thanks to Teresa Colunga De La Vega.