Swimming and Para Swimming Team Chile representatives showed their abilities to kids in La Pintana

As part of the program Get to Know Your Star by Santiago 2023, Alberto Abarza, Antonia Cubillos, Benjamin Schnapp, and Valentine Muñoz showed their skills in the district Polideportivo’s pool in front of the students of the Simón Bolívar school.

This Friday, April 28th, a new day of the program Get To Know Your Star was carried out. This initiative powered by the Santiago 2023 Corporation, in venue districts of the event, is focused on inclusion and its objective is to get the stories of national athletes closer to the school community. 

At this time, the place chosen to carry out this activity was the Polideportivo de La Pintana, district that will host rugby 7 during the Pan American and Parapan American Games.

The triple Paralympic medallist in Tokyo 2020, Alberto Abarza, along with the Parapan American champion in 100 meters backstroke, Valentina Muñoz, represented Team ParaChile. Meanwhile, the South American champion, Benjamín Schnapp, and the national multi champion in breaststroke, Antonia Cubillos, were the Team Chile exponents that attended the school up to show their skills at the pool of the precinct. 

In the water, the athletes shared some time with the students of the Simón Bolívar school, which is part of the Education Program. The students were able to see and learn from all presented techniques by the four exponents of the aquatics sport.

The event also was attended by the mayor of the La Pintana district, Claudia Pizarro, and the Chief Communications and Communities Officer of Santiago 2023, Felipe Bianchi. 

The mayor was happy about the visit of the athletes and she pointed out that “having these athletes here is a dream. They’ll represent Chile and now they’re spending time with our students. For us, this is a preparation for the Pan American Games, which will be lived as a festivalover here. We want La Pintana to be a sports district and this is a historical event for the memory of the kids. We know they’ll never forget it.”

Meanwhile, the Santiago 2023 representative highlighted the importance of helping kids get closer to sports through these Games. About this, he said that “they’ll help transmit the legacy of sports, which only brings happiness, emotion, and an endorphin rush that not many things give to people. This conjunction of athletes talking to kids about how they started and what sports meant to their lives is one of the loveliest obligations these Pan American Games have.”

The athletes together the autorithies of La Pintana and Santiago 2023. (Picture: Santiago 2023).


All the athletes, who were accompanied by the Coach of Team Chile, Cristóbal Díaz, agreed on the thought that this type of activity is useful to motivate kids and young people, aside from helping them remember the times when they were just getting familiar with swimming and their first strokes.

In that context, the Paralympic multi champion, Alberto Abarza, commented that “seeing these kids motivates me and gives me energy. It was a wonderful day because of the energy it gives to your body. It’s the same as when visiting Teletón, I leave the place recharged. It’s amazing to see kids doing sports.”

Valentina Muñoz remembered her first experience in water and said that “it was like a flashback to my memories of my beginnings in the water of Teletón, when we did some ball exercises to be able to float better in the water. Little by little I gained better technique and I ended up swimming completely.”

Antonia Cubillos showed her gratitude for being part of this activity and she said “it was a nice experience because I feel it’s an unforgettable moment for the kids. This may inspire them to enter the world of sports. They could become great athletes. They already have great infrastructure, which is great for them.”

Benjamín Schnapp focused on the importance of motivation and perseverance in sport careers. He explained that “this road is hard but nice. It’s important to learn about discipline because that is one of the hard parts. Motivation lasts just a little bit. Discipline is forever.”

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