Paola Muñoz was restless since she was little. She practiced various sports until at the age of 14, she fell in love with the bicycle. She never let go of it again. She has been competing for 20 years, with only two small interruptions of just a few weeks, when she was the mother of her two daughters.
“The issue of motherhood is very complex for many because they believe that they are going to cut their sports career. And they end up putting it off to such an extent that even afterwards they can't be mothers. For me it is a unique experience to feel another being inside me, how its heart beats, how it grows, evolves. I was a young and eager mother, ”says Paola, who let several years pass between one pregnancy and the other. Her first daughter, Javiera, is 14 years old (she is already an outstanding diver and cyclist) and the second, Amanda, is barely a year and a month old.
Married to another great cyclist, Gonzalo Garrido, her family has been the mainstay for Paola to be the undisputed queen of the discipline in Chile, and who has obtained the best international results. In fact, she made history by winning the 90-kilometer route at the 2017 Pan Am in the Dominican Republic. She has competed in world championships, multiple South American medalists and the only Chilean to run international laps, the Women's Tour de France, the Tour of Spain and the Giro d'Italia. She was also the first woman to qualify for an Olympic Games, London 2012. Her results support a long career, not without difficulties, but full of enthusiasm and love for sport. Where she has also found space for professional engineering studies in financial management.
“I have a full scholarship at the Andrés Bello University, I am a mother, an athlete, a businesswoman, a housewife, wife and attorney-in-fact, hahaha… the endless roles that women play. I only have one semester left ”, Paola tells us, proud of all the roles she fulfills every day.
And strictly sports, the mega Pan American event that is coming home is for her a great motivating factor to continue in the daily fight for high performance.
“Santiago 2023 is a tremendous challenge and I clearly see myself there competing for medals for Chile, the commitment and the desire are there. Today we are doing the Madison with Aranza Villalón (both shone in December 2020 in the last stage of the Women's Tour of Colombia, Paola winning the tour and Aranza being in the final third overall position), we already achieved third place in the Cali World Cup last year. We want to reach the best level to 2023, it is the dream of every athlete to have a mega event at home ”, says the cyclist who has been working with Aranza for seven months.
Paola Muñoz continues to break her own limits. She assures that she would do the same route over and over again. Live the dedication and magic that sport has. The quarry from where she gets the motivation to continue at the highest level every day. “I invite women from all over the region to enjoy Chile, this party that we are going to experience with Santiago 2023. The work starts from today ”, is the powerful message sent by one of Chile's most emblematic athletes on International Women's Day.
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