Beach volleyball superstar aims for an Olympic gold
For Australian-Peruvian beach volleyballer Mariafe Artacho del Solar, it was love at first play.
Despite not winning any matches during her Olympic debut in Rio 2016, Mariafe has since made her mark in the world of women’s beach volleyball and continues to aim for a medal win at the next summer Olympic Games.
Mariafe was born in Peru where she was first introduced to beach volleyball by her sister. But, it was soon after moving to Sydney in 2004 that she took part in her first social competition with her brother Billy, and it was from there she fell in love with the sport.
“I love everything about beach volleyball,” Mariafe said.
It’s fun, and of course what we do is very challenging and demanding physically, mentally and emotionally, but it is all so worth it.
“I’m living the dream.”
According to the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball as at August 20, 2018, Mariafe and her beach volleyball partner Taliqua Clancy are currently ranked 7th in the world, and the two Aussies continue to climb the ladder, following a recent end to a successful tour in Europe.
“Our season doesn’t really end and we still have a few international tournaments left around Asia later in the year,” Mariafe laughed.
I’m so proud to be able to represent Australia and it’s such an honour to wear the green and gold.
Although she doesn’t represent Peru in the sport, Mariafe said she is so grateful for the 11 years she spent living and growing up in the South American nation.
“I’m proud to be Peruvian born and grateful to have experienced the culture and everything that comes from Peru, but I’m also so proud to be Australian and so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been able to experience so far,” she said.
“I call Australia home and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
With that, Mariafe continues to grasp at the opportunities that often come her way,” she said.
I’m also proud of all the lessons my journey has taught me so far, and looking back, I can see how much I’ve grown as a person and how far I’ve come since starting.
“But, I’m definitely not done yet.”
Follow Mariafe’s beach volleyball journey on Facebook HERE.