María Alexandra Escobar Guerrero

Further Personal Information
Family
Son Dominic
Residence
Esmeraldas, ECU
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Spanish
Higher education
Physical Education - Luis Vargas Torres Technical University: Esmeraldas, ECU
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up weightlifting at age 18.
Why this sport?
"I started going with my foster sisters Adela and Victoria Marquez. They were a little older than me and Adela wanted to get physical because she was going to enter the police. For two weeks I accompanied Adela, and would sit, until one day she began doing squats with 40 kilograms of weight. I was bored so took the weight and did six squats. Coach Silvio Mila was left with his mouth open and invited me to train."
Name of coach
Hugo Quelal [national], ECU
General Interest
Nicknames
Ale (eltelegrafo.com.ec, 23 Apr 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal in the 58kg category at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (eltelegrafo.com.ec, 23 Apr 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her son Dominic. (eluniverso.com, 28 Jul 2019)
Hero / Idol
Turkish weightlifter Halil Mutlu. (olympic.org, 18 Jul 2011)
Injuries
She had to withdraw during her event at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, ON, Canada, after suffering a right elbow injury. (elciudadano.gob.ec, 17 Jul 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I think if I had lived an easy life from the start I wouldn't have made it. I try to get away from my past and I look forward. I have a son, I am fighting for him, and I train hard to beat myself, to win medals." (bbc.co.uk, 22 Jul 2008)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she was named Best Athlete by the Provincial Government of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. (eluniverso.com, 22 Jan 2018)

She was named 2016 Athlete of the Year by Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo and the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee [COE]. (eluniverso.com, 08 Apr 2017)

She was chosen as Ecuador's flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008. (olympic.org, Aug 2008; olympic.org, 13 Aug 2004)
Milestones
In 2016 she became the first female Ecuadorian athlete to compete at four editions of the Olympic Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 08 Aug 2016; elciudadano.gob.ec, 27 Mar 2016)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. (eltelegrafo.com.ec, 19 Nov 2017)
Other information
PERSONAL LOSS
In February 2017 her husband Dario died of a heart attack. Her son Dominic helped with her decision to continue with weightlifting. "He has always supported me. He does not want me to stop training because he knows it makes me happy and he does not like to see me sad." In November 2017, she won three gold medals at the 2017 Bolivarian Games in Santa Marta, Columbia, and dedicated the medals to her late husband. "For him, I continue this sport. Before his death I had decided to retire to dedicate myself to my family, but he insisted that I should continue to give joy to the country and to compete at Tokyo 2020 [Olympic Games]. Therefore, after he died, I resolved to fulfil his wishes. These three gold medals are for you [Dario], wherever you are." (eltelegrafo.com.ec, 19 Nov 2017; eltelegrafo.com.ec, 23 Apr 2017)

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