Evelyn García hopes that her participation in the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023 is special and unforgettable. In this regional event, that is being held in El Salvador after 21 years, the Salvadoran cyclist wants to make the laurels green again with a gold medal.
Motivated by the support during the management of the ad honorem president, Yamil Bukele, the Santa Ana native athlete sees the San Salvador 2023 games as a unique opportunity for her return to high-level competition after a three year “involuntary” absence.
“The first option is our country. I participated in the 2002 games, and the fact that our country is organizing an event of this magnitude again is what motivated me to compete; this is the opportunity I was waiting for, since INDES trusts in my work and I have remained active. One of the best things would be to participate in these games, which I thought would never be held in our country again. There is nothing left but hard work during these four months”, the athlete said. She previously earned a silver medal in the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011, and a bronze one in Toronto 2015.
Evelyn points out her motivation and optimism to return to a competition of the Olympic Cycle, and she revealed that she wants the women’s time trial gold medal. “In this case, I am inclining towards the time trial and route races; but my main goal, is the timed one on July 7th. I want to win the gold medal, that is our goal”, said the athlete who started cycling in 2000.
García practically came up as a rising star in Salvadoran cycling in the 2002 Games, and she sees the San Salvador 2023 Games as an opportunity to re-launch her career.
“I was very young when I participated in the 2002 Games, and I won a silver medal, which was as valuable as gold to me. I competed against Belén Guerrero, from Mexico, who was an Olympic medalist. It will be exciting to be in the velodrome again and compete at home after two decades.”, she emphasized.
After representing El Salvador in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Peking 2008, and London 2012, García keeps alive the dream of bringing joy to the country through medals.
“I returned after my pregnancy, I trained, and we won a medal in Toronto. And just we had our sights on the qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics, everything started going uphill, and I had to step away for a while. It was a three-year absence because there wasn’t good communication with the federation at the time”, said the athlete, whose career sums up to 23 years.
Despite being away from official competitions of the Olympic Cycle, Evelyn remained active as a cyclist in Jaén, Andalusia, Spain; where she has the support of her husband, Carlos Manuel Vega, and the motivation of her twins, Mariana Sofía and Ariana Luján.
“I kept competing, I got into cycling mountain to remain active, and I haven’t gotten off the bike. We then took a work plan with INDES, under Yamil Bukele’s management; we spoke, I presented a work plan that started in 2020, but the cycle for Tokyo was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, when El Salvador was awarded the right to host the Central American and Caribbean Games, our goals shifted towards this event”, she explained.
Evelyn also sees 2023 as a year of major sports demands and opportunities. “It is a very important year, because the Central American and Caribbean Games, and the Pam American Games coincided, there is also the qualifiers for the Olympic Games. So it is a very complicated year because we need to choose what to do, but our country with the Central American and Caribbean Games are our first option”, she remarked.
For her participation in the San Salvador 2023 Games, Evelyn has planned a three-month training camp in Medellín, Colombia, where she will sharpen her technique and strategies for the time trial and route events with the help of coach Pablo Velez.
“My motivation is aiming for that gold medal, as always, I work towards that every day. What is bigger than motivation is the commitment, because the games are at home; after being a cyclist for so long, there is some good pressure, and it gives me confidence and helps me to be better. I am continuing because I trust in my work, and I know I can face this challenge”, she emphasized.
Evelyn also sees the positive aspect of El Salvador hosting the regional event for the third time.
“El Salvador has taken on a big challenge when organizing the 2023 Games after a pandemic, and in record time; it has made us athletes want to win and fight. We hope that this is the beginning of good things for the future and the next Olympic Cycles. Everything is gain towards the future”, Evelyn added.