“There is no better place in the world than fighting in my own country, all the world champions prefer to fight at home, with their people; In my case, I have always said that fighting in Costa Rica is a blessing”, said the world champion boxer Hanna Gabriels.
A significant number of Costa Rican athletes stand out worldwide, which points to a new era of athletes for the country with eventual successful international participations that highlight the nation as one of the next sports powers of the American continent.
Consolidated and rising stars
Successful sports figures that place our nation on the World stage are stars such as the Para-athlete Sherman Güity, BMX rider Kenneth Tencio, Surfer Brisa Hennessy, Noelia Vargas in track and field and female boxers Yokaste Valle and Hanna Gabriels, who emerge as figures far from the soccer tradition, the collective sport that has also reached their representation in world competitions and is deep-rooted in popular Tico culture.
Among the best on the planet is surfer Brisa Hennessy, who became the first Costa Rican athlete to compete on the World Championship Tour. Back on the athletics tracks, race-walker Noelia Vargas also stands out, who won gold in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter, all in record time at the 2019 Central American Athletics Championships in El Salvador.
In the same order of athletic representation is the BMX rider, Kenneth Tencio, who obtained a second place in the NC Series 2 International Championship, in the United States, as well as winning first place in the BMX Freestyle Park European Championship in Spain.
World female boxing champion
It should be noted that Hanna Gabriels is the most awarded boxer in Costa Rica. Since 2009, Gabriels is the world champion of the World Boxing Association in the super welterweight category.
Also, has the title of the World Boxing Organization. In 2010, the National Sports Games were dedicated to her in recognition of the international sporting achievements that position the country with the highest competitive performance.
Strong defender of social causes
Hanna Gabriels also stands out as a strong defender of social causes, mainly those related to health promotion, the empowerment of women, the prevention of gender violence, and the response to the situation of refugee applicants in Costa Rica.
Gabriels dedicated her world championship defense to the refugees in Costa Rica. She won the fight and sent a message of inclusion and non-discrimination. Hanna has visited host communities in northern Costa Rica to better understand the needs of Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers, as well as launching sports festival in the border community of Los Chiles with a message against xenophobia.
“A commitment to my country”
“Each fight is a commitment that I have with my country, positioning it in the world as one of the best nations with the highest sports performance, however, the most difficulty I have faced has not been in a ring, but rather is the dispute in the streets and against the indifference. Many people have been forced to leave their countries to save their lives and have found refuge in our country. However, they too have been struck by indifference. I want Costa Ricans to accompany me in the fight against xenophobia and to be with the refugees today more than ever,” said the boxer.
Without a doubt, Hanna Gabriels is one of the sports stars of Costa Rica, an example for future generations of Tico athletes and also those from other parts of the world with a strong commitment for defending the human rights of the most vulnerable populations in the region.