Las Chicas Superpoderosas are Colombia’s new sheros after embarrassing France 2-0 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and now placing themselves on the golden path of 2015 Pan Am Games.
Colombia’s National Women’s Soccer Team (yaasss they deserve capitalization, son unas verracas!) will be playing for the gold medal after a surprising 1-0 victory over home team Canada last night, thanks to a goal by winger Diana Ospina.
Las Chicas Superpoderosas definitely made some soccer history this time around. They already beat Mexico, again, ahem ahem, 1-0 and tied with Trinidad and Tobago. This past Saturday they beat Argentina 2-0 qualifying them for the semifinals.
It’s widely known that female soccer hasn’t always been supported and has actually been neglected in Colombia and in the rest of the world. This past February, Colombia’s leading mujer futbolista Yoreli Rincón called the whole country out on a show called “Los Informantes” on channel Caracol, one of Colombia’s media monopolies. “To be a woman and a soccer player in this country is a sin,” she said, highlighting the perception that words soccer and mujer are an antithesis. She went on to explain the machismo and disrespect futbolistas face both on and off the field commenting on the wage gap in the Colombian national soccer league. “En la Selección nos pagan un 1 por ciento de lo que les pueden pagar a los hombres y algunas son madres de familia. Otras pierden trabajos por venir a la Selección, por defender a todo un país, que es un país que no nos apoya.”
Rincón, tough girl that she is, left home at 12 years-old to play soccer in Tolima. In her town of Piedecuesta, Santander there were no girl soccer teams. At 14 years-old, she qualified for Colombia’s Sub 17 National team. Today she plays for Norway’s first division Avaldsnes, has created soccer schools and the Ponte la Mano Sobre el Corazon Foundation that helps children with disabilities who need prosthetic body parts. And she’s only 21. Basically she is a boss.
Rincon was unable to attend the national call-up for Colombia for the Pan Am games as her professional team in Norway required her to be present for pre-season training, but her triumphs stem from the strength she’s built through her obstacles. Many other women in soccer have a similar story. It may not follow the same politics that male narco-soccer history has in Colombian novelas and history books, but it has stories of beautiful struggles.
This Saturday las Superpoderosas will have a chance to do what the Colombian Men’s National team have never been able to; win a gold medal in soccer at the Pan American Games.