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AMBASSADOR SPOTLIGHT: Luisa Viñals | Mexico City

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MEET LUISA VINALS!

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Luisa Viñals. I’m 17 and I’m from Mexico City. I have been playing hockey for three years and I’m currently playing for the U18 National Hockey Team. I used to practice figure skating for four years, but I only competed twice, so I decided to change to hockey because my mom began to play. I started practicing with little kids and then started advancing until I was ready to play with kids my age.

My first World Championship was in Spain in January 2019; the team of girls under 18 were in the category of division 1 – Group B qualifications. I played in all the matches and I was on the second power play so I was really happy about my accomplishments.

In the summer of 2019 I went to a camp led by hockey coach, Boris Dorozhenko in Fargo, North Dakota. I went to the camp for two weeks where I stayed with an incredible family and I learned a lot of things that I needed. I greatly improved my skills, and I participated in two tournaments: one in Aspen, Colorado and another in Calgary, Alberta where I had the opportunity to start in the game and was added to the power play.

I played the World Championship of 2020 in Mexico. I was first line and this year we were playing in the category of Division 2- Group B. In my last match, which was against New Zealand we won and placed third overall. It was a really special match for me because I scored my first goal and had three assists that helped me to earn the title of lead scorer for Mexico.

This is my last year on the U18 team. I’m looking for the captaincy, to be able to be on the women’s national team and to play for a college team if I have the opportunity.

What made you want to be a WHL Brand Ambassador?

I wanted to be a WHL Ambassador because I want to help grow female hockey in Mexico. I would like to be able to inspire younger generations with my experiences and to show them that they can achieve their goals. Also, I want to show them the incredible things you can have with hockey, such as great friendships and the fun you experience while playing. I want young girls to realize that women can do anything they put their minds to!

What are you most looking forward to as a #WHLAMBASSADOR?

What I’m looking forward as a WHL ambassador is to be an inspiration for other girls, to help with whatever I can, and to leave a positive impression about the sport. I really want every girl that plays this game to truly love and enjoy it. I’m also looking forward to making hockey in Mexico more popular so every hockey girl here can have in a future as many opportunities as other hockey player from other countries.

What’s something not a lot of people know about you?

I think that not a lot of people know that when I have really important games I always listen to the same songs. I always dress right to left and I’m always chewing my cheeks to concentrate. Also, I wear a rosary on my neck and always hug my friend Emilia on the ice for good luck!

If you could sit down and have dinner with one female hockey player, who would it be and why?

I think I would choose Hilary knight. I enjoy watching her play and I really admire the way she develops on the ice, it would be incredible to learn all the things that she has learned all the time she has played hockey.

I definitely I would also choose some of the female hockey players that Mexico has, like my coach Claudia Tellez, Bertha Gonzales, Fernanda Chávez and more. I really admire them and I’m looking forward to being like them in the future, but it could be any one of the women’s national team, I think I could learn a lot of things.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in hockey or in life?

I think that it would be, “When you feel that you are not nervous anymore about the things you do, it’s because you don’t like it or enjoy it like you used to” or “Things that are easy to get are not worthy, you need to work hard and never give up.”

What’s your dream for women’s hockey?

My dream for women’s hockey is that we can have the same opportunities like the men have in hockey. Also, to see more girls in Mexico playing hockey and having more opportunities to show that we have what it takes to grow in hockey.


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