24 de julio de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

Octogenarian holds most swimming records in Mexico

By Salma Kaufman R.

By Salma Kaufman R.

Acapulco, Mexico, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Some 2,400 medals won, mostly gold, and 400 international records have given Maru Walls the name of the Acapulco Siren. At her 82 years she is the woman with the most swimming records in Mexico's history, in a career that spanned just 24 years.

"I haven't competed all my life - I began in 1994 at age 58 after cracking my skull in an accident and diagnosed as facing a lifetime of confinement to a wheelchair or my bed. Then I started training with a coach who made many world champions, the teacher Joaquin de la Peña Castillo," Walls told EFE.

Maria Eugenia Walls Galindo, better known as Maru, a native of Pinotepa Nacional in Oaxaca state, daughter of a British father and a Mexican mother, was moved at a very young age to the Pacific coast city of Acapulco, Guerrero state.

After her arrival in that paradisiacal Pacific port, the sea caught her attention, so that without knowing how to swim she jumped into the waves for the first time. "I asked my pals to show me how to swim, but I sank. They rescued me and I regained consciousness at a Red Cross facility," she said about her first time in Acapulco waters.

After that, Maru realized that before she learned to swim, she'd have to learn how to survive in the water, so she started studying the techniques used by sea mammals. From that moment she began to help other youngsters swim.

It wasn't until 1998 at age 62 when she first took part in the Swimming category of the 1998 World Masters Games in Portland, Oregon. "When I saw how many people were competing, I said 'No, this isn't possible, I don't belong here. There were 8,500 participants from around the world," she recalled.

Still a beginner, Walls was able to win seven medals.

Despite doing so well in that swimming championship, Maru was almost disqualified beforehand.

"I had recently fallen down and (the accident) was on my record. They made me sign four documents because, they said, it was a big responsibility for them," she said.

"I told them, 'Okay, I signed four documents, you sign one for me,'" Maru recalled, and revealed the content of what she had written: "If Maru Walls is swimming the butterfly and suddenly remains motionless, get a doctor to check my vital signs to say that I died, but he must certify that I am really dead; then they can take me away."

Even with her medical history and advanced age, Walls kept competing with her typical will to win, and in a Latin American competition in Costa Rica she took 12 medals, 11 for first place and one for second, the latter after helping another swimmer suffering a cramp, which made her cross the finish line 40 seconds after the winner.

After being considered the woman with the most swimming records in Mexico, the Acapulco Siren can now compete for a place in the Guinness Book of Records, though there is one problem: she doesn't have the backing or enough funds to take part in the 2019 World Master Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, between Aug. 12-28.

Histórico de noticias
Juan Diego Florez, Luis Fonsi warm up to inaugurate Lima Pan-Am Games

Lima, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Peru's Juan Diego Florez and Puerto Rico's Luis Fonsi on Tuesday began warming up for their participation in the inauguration of...

US tells Maduro he has little time left to resign

Washington, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The United States this Tuesday told Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle that he has little time left to leave...

Trump on Boris Johnson: He will be great as UK prime minister

Washington, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed the election of conservative Boris Johnson as Great Britain's prime minister,...

Bank of Mexico's printing plant draws visitors interested in money

By Mariana Gonzalez

IMF reduces global growth forecast to 3.2 pct. due to political risks

Santiago, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The trade war between the United States and China, the uncertainty created by Brexit and the tensions affecting the price of...

Intermittent blackouts continue as Venezuela recovers power supply

Caracas, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The electric power supply in Venezuela, controlled by the state-run Corpoelec firm, as of Tuesday morning had been working for...

Possible New York Legislation Restrict Use of Cell Phone Location Data

New York, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- A bill to ban the sale of cellphone users' geo-location data to marketers was presented for debate to the New York City Council...

Intermittent blackouts continue as Venezuela recovers power supply

Caracas, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The electric power supply in Venezuela, controlled by the state-run Corpoelec firm, as of Tuesday morning had been working for...

Lula's native region showcases the essence of Brazilian folklore

By Nayara Batschke

Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris would legalize marijuana across the US

Washington, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- US senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) presented this Tuesday a bill for legalizing marijuana...

Power blackout hits most of Venezuela

Caracas, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- A new power blackout left much of Venezuela without electricity on Monday starting at 4:40 pm, and the state-run Corpoelec,...

Trump pursues closer ties with Pakistan

Alfonso Fernandez

Demonstrators, artists once again demand resignation of Puerto Rico governor

San Juan, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of demonstrators, headed by Puerto Rican artists and athletes, on Monday once again demanded the resignation...

Iguacu, 1,300 km of hidden paradise among 6 hydroelectric plants

By Ana Paula Chain

Trump: I'd win Afghan war in a week but only by wiping out too many people

Washington, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump said Monday he could win the Afghanistan war in a week, but added that he doesn't really want to...

Trump praises Xi for showing restraint with Hong Kong protests

Washington, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Monday that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, had shown restraint in the face of the mass...

Argentine fintech company Ualá hits 1 mn issued cards

Buenos Aires, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Ualá, the Argentine financial technology company founded by young entrepreneur Pierpaolo Barbieri, said Monday that it had...

NASA develops MHS spaceship to fly over Mars

By Ivan Mejia

Thieves steal $25,000 in cash, property from actor Del Toro in San Juan

San Juan, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- Thieves stole $17,000 in cash plus other personal property worth thousands of dollars over the weekend from the San Juan...

US acknowledges Mexico's progress on migration strategy

Mexico City, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday acknowledged Mexico's progress on increasing immigration enforcement, noting...

Puerto Rico governor announces he won't run for re-election, amid protests

San Juan, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello Sunday that he will not run for re-election in 2020, his announcement coming amid an...

Pinto says he won't coach Panamanian national soccer team

Bogota, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Jorge Luis Pinto, who has been at the helm of the national squads of Honduras, Costa Rica and Colombia, said Sunday he had no...

Trump: Squad congresswomen should apologize to US, Israel

Washington, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Sunday once again unloaded on the four Democratic congresswomen known as "The Squad" after sparking...

Ecuador makes big push into large-scale mining with Chinese-backed project

By Fernando Arroyo Leon