It could be a tough challenge but the national women’s ice hockey team is determined to try for a berth in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
If they succeed it will be a first for any country in Latin America, where just three have their own women’s national hockey teams.
Players on the four-year-old Mexican squad got their start playing roller hockey. Lately they have been playing on men’s teams to earn experience under more demanding circumstances, said player Mónica Rentería.
Their skills will be put to the test this weekend at the IceDome in Mexico City where they will play teams from Hong Kong and Turkey in the first qualifying round for the Olympics.
Those games will be followed by three more qualification rounds where the competition will be challenging, wrote Dustin Nelson at The Hockey Writers. He believes Olympic qualification is unlikely but says the team is inspiring the next generation of Latin American players.
One of the national team members has been preparing for the Olympics by playing in Canada. Forward Claudia Téllez, 32, is the first Mexican player to play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League after being drafted in August by the Calgary Inferno.
The Mexican team’s alternate captain is determined to go to the Olympics and to play professional hockey.
“. . . I decided that the next four years I’m going to work on the project for the Olympics and also prepare for professional hockey,” she told The Hockey Writers.
The Jalisco native is back in Mexico this week, getting ready for the games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.