Mexican soccer star Diana Flores breaks boundaries for ladies

Her followers know that Diana Flores is a slippery, shifting goal who leaves rivals gasping and greedy at air. But it took a Super Bowl halftime advert for tens of millions extra to see why the Mexico City native will not be solely flag soccer’s greatest star, but additionally an rising emblem of feminine empowerment.

In the two-minute industrial that aired throughout Super Bowl LVII, Flores, quarterback and captain of the Mexican nationwide group, strikes up a seemingly informal chat with Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews, who instantly snatches at one of many flags dangling from Flores’ waist. That sparks a madcap sprint by the elusive Flores, replete with celeb cameos by the likes of NFL star Jalen Ramsey and tennis nice Billie Jean King.

What stands out most within the choreographed chase is Flores’ velocity and agility, as she dodges car parking zone guards, a man in a chicken go well with and an actor enjoying Flores’ mom. Nothing can cease her. “To the women who move football forward, we can’t wait to see where you take this sport,” the ultimate caption reads.

Conceived as an try to push flag soccer as an official Olympic sport in 2028, the advert is as a lot a nod to the NFL’s world advertising and marketing ambitions as it’s to third-wave feminism. Yet Flores’ seriousness and willpower shine by means of. If her astounding athleticism has made her a champion on the sphere, her pure charisma has made her a persuasive ambassador for the NFL, and an idol to Latinas throughout the hemisphere.

“For me it is an honor to be a Mexican, a Latina woman who represents women all over the world,” she mentioned in an interview with The Times. “Representing our work, our discipline, our heart, I think that was a very important moment. We are rewriting the history of women in sport and I feel very honored and blessed to be where I am today.”

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Although many Mexicans have been stunned that the diminutive 25-year-old may dominate a sport usually dominated by behemoths, Flores credit her success to the boldness her dad and mom instilled in her. She was instructed from a really younger age that she was able to reaching something. Her father, Jaime, who performed soccer in faculty, instructed her, “It doesn’t matter that football is not yet known in Mexico. Keep practicing and don’t listen to the detractors.”

“My father used to tell me, ‘You’re powerful,’ and that’s something I grew up with,” Flores mentioned. “It is important to remember the power of words, and the impact they have on our boys and girls for the next generations.”

Jaime Flores, who performed quarterback, working again and protection with the Águilas Blancas del Politécnico Nacional, taught his daughter the significance of understanding the right way to deal with totally different positions. He needed Diana to be taught the sport by emphasizing the optimistic, slightly than the punitive method through which he’d been taught when he was younger.

Jaime Flores and his daughter Diana throughout a flag soccer recreation.

(Cortesía foto acquainted )

“I don’t know if it’s just us or our culture, but you always see the bad side rather than the good side, the side of ‘You were wrong, it’s not done like that, I’m going to teach you,’” Jaime mentioned. “With my daughter I always focused on the successes. She probably had, like, three things that she didn’t do well, but another five that she did, and I congratulated her on those successes.”

Ever since she was little, Flores adored group sports activities, which is why she ended up abandoning her first loves, ballet and dance, which her dad and mom signed her up for, together with piano, gymnastics and karate courses. She then discovered her true calling.

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“The flag caught her and she didn’t let go. It is her passion, it is her life,” Jaime mentioned.

At a young age, Diana was competing against older girls, but even then her speed made her a standout.

At a younger age, Diana was competing towards older women, however even then her velocity made her a standout.

(Cortesía Foto Familiar)

By age 10, Diana was competing largely with older women. When she reached her teenagers, her abilities have been so superior that she would journey overseas to play matches. In 2012, at 14, she was known as as much as the North Penn High School group in Pennsylvania, which she captained to a regional championship organized by the NFL.

At 16, she was known as up for the primary time by the Mexican group, to play within the 2014 World Cup in Grosseto, Italy, the place she was the youngest participant to compete within the event. To date, she has participated in 4 World Cups and has gained a bronze, a silver and a gold medal, most lately when Mexico defeated the U.S. by a lopsided rating of 39-6 final 12 months in Birmingham, Ala. Flores accomplished 20 of 28 passes for 210 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Mexico's Diana Flores throws the

Diana Flores fires a cross throughout a flag soccer match on the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, final July.

(Dustin Massey / World Games 2022)

Last fall, her exploits went viral through the faculty flag soccer championships in Mexico. It was the third championship gained by the Borregos of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, the place Flores graduated with a level in advertising and marketing and communication.

Pride already was overflowing within the Flores household dwelling when its members first noticed the Super Bowl promo, tears streaming down the faces of Flores’ mom, Josefina, and her youthful sister, Monserrat.

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“We have worked a lot since she was very little. I never imagined this at this level; I never dreamed of it,” Josefina mentioned.

Flores mentioned two of her favourite components of the bilingual advert have been when King “accidentally” opens her automobile door smack within the path of one in every of Flores’ pursuers, and the half the place Flores speaks in Spanish to the actor portraying her mom. Flores mentioned that second “filled my heart a lot” as a result of it sends a message concerning the unity of two cultures.

Flores’ subsequent dream is to symbolize her nation on the 2028 Olympics.

“It’s going to be in Los Angeles, where we have a huge Latino community,” Flores mentioned. But first, flag soccer must be accepted as an Olympic sport by the International Olympic Committee.

Flag soccer lately was permitted as a highschool sport for the 2023-24 season by the California Interscholastic Federation, in an try to get extra women collaborating. In 2018-19, about 11,000 women performed flag soccer, in keeping with the National Federation of State High School Assns. With the game permitted for CIF competitors, these numbers are more likely to develop.

To advance her profession targets, Flores has teamed up with SMAC Entertainment, a Marina Del Rey-based expertise, music, model and manufacturing administration firm that has labored with skills reminiscent of soccer’s Deion Sanders and WWE stars Brie and Nikki Bella.

“My parents were born in Mexico; I am a first-generation American. Having a Latina was very important to me,” mentioned José Díaz, her consultant at SMAC. “But most importantly, what attracted us to having her as part of our roster is that she will continue the pattern of our clients. Our talents don’t like to stay in one aspect, they don’t want to be just athletes, just actors or just musicians, they all have different interests, they’re breaking down barriers. And that’s what Diana is doing.”

And, Flores hopes, it’s what different ladies can do by following her instance.

“I want to remind all the girls and women that you are powerful. You are strong. You are smart,” Flores mentioned. “You are capable of doing everything you set your mind to.”