Panam Sports Athlete Commission Member Adriana Escobar gives El Salvador two more bronze medals at the Barranquilla 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, accomplishing the goals she set before the event.

Before the Barranquilla 2018 Games began in Colombia on July 19, Adriana spoke with Panam Sports about her goals as a Rower and what motivates her to continue to compete and improve.

“My goal for these Games is to test myself against some world champs. I want to take back home at least two medals,” the new Rowing medalist said before the Games. 

Adriana got off to a great start on Sunday, July 22, earning her first bronze medal in the Women’s Lightweight Single Sculls while competing against great athletes. The medal marked her first ever at the Central American and Caribbean Games and was a very emotional moment.

“I cried as soon as a I realized I won my first medal,” Adriana said. “These are actually my second Games because I competed at Veracruz 2014 in the same boats. I really wanted to win the two medals then but it didn’t happen.”

Although she didn’t achieve her goals at the previous Central American and Caribbean Games, four years of hard work and dedication paid off this week in Colombia. The Rower from El Salvador followed up her bronze from Sunday with another bronze medal in the Women’s Double Sculls with teammate Jessica Hernandez on Monday. 

“Winning the two medals this time is a dream come true,” Adriana said after standing on the podium on July 23. The two bronze medals brought El Salvador’s total medal count to eight, with four other bronzes and two silvers.

“Standing on the podium was surreal because I actually look up to the people that were also on the podium, so me being there with them standing with a medal felt amazing!”

Adriana Escobar (right) celebrates on the podium of the Women’s Lightweight Single Sculls competition in Barranquilla.

The athletes who finished just ahead of Escobar on Monday were Mexico’s Kenia Lechuga who took home the gold medal and Cuba’s Ilianny Roman who earned the silver. 

With two shiny, new bronze medals around her neck, Adriana is now ready to focus on qualifying for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games next July.

“I’m looking forward to qualify to the Pan Am Games in the next few months. I’ve been working really hard this past year so that I can go a represent my country. And winning a medal would mean a lot to me and my country, so there’s a lot of motivation in between.”

Escobar represented El Salvador at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games and is ready to wear the Blue and White for her country once again in the Peruvian capital.

“I’ve only been to one Pan Am Games, but it was the best sports experience I’ve ever lived. Even though we were not competing in the city of Toronto, they managed to make the experience as exciting as the main venues. The best experience I had was taking part of this amazing opportunity, and racing against good opponents. But the whole experience was amazing.”

But Adriana doesn’t only want to represent her country in world-class competitions. As one of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission Members, Adriana Escobar wants to ensure the athlete voice is heard on all levels of sport.

“I think that representing one of the smallest countries in the Americas in the AC is a huge step in representation. For me, being able to speak up for all my fellow teammates, athletes and friends is important.

“I want this Athlete Commission to have as much diversity as possible, because not every athlete is trying to strive in their sports in the same conditions. Getting others involved and being informed about the reality of others might help to come up with new ideas to have a better Commission.”

Although the sport of Rowing wasn’t always her dream, it seems Adriana has found her calling.

“I became a rower by accident. I was actually trying to become a pole vault athlete, because I used to be a gymnast so it was a natural sport for me. But something about rowing caught my attention. I’ve done many sports during my life, but rowing definitely puts all my senses to test. I feel very alive during those 2,000 meters, and it becomes very addictive to try your best to beat your Personal Records each time you have to sit in a boat. And the best part is that there are no short cuts in rowing,” she says.

“I honestly admire every single rower that I meet. It’s not an easy sport and you have to sacrifice your time and social interactions. But if I have to choose one person as my rowing idol, that would be my Coach. These past years he has taught me and my teammates about hard work, team work and perseverance.. and not just with words, but by his own example.”

Adriana is now setting her own example for the future rowers of El Salvador and the Americas, proving it is possible to achieve your goals and make your country proud.

Panam Sports congratulates our Athlete Commission Member on achieving her goals and winning two medals at the Barranquilla 2018 Games. Panam Sports wishes Adriana and all of Americas’ athletes continued success on the road to the Lima 2019 Pan American Games next July.