Hope College diver Jean Luc Miralda realized a dream this week when he represented his native Honduras at the Central American and Caribbean Games.
The six-day event was held in Veracruz, Mexico. Miralda finished 11th in 1-meter diving with a score of 215.05 points and 12th in 3-meter diving with a total of 247.00 points.
Miralda, a communication major, spoke about his opportunity before he left to compete.
What does it mean to you to compete in the Central American and Caribbean Games and represent your home country?
"It is a great honor, probably the biggest athletic recognition that we have, in Honduras, is being part of this delegation. Personally, it is one of the most important meets in my Olympic training cycle and it fulfills dreams and aspirations. Four years ago, I went to this same meet as the youngest diver and the first Honduran diver to ever compete in this meet and it didn't go as we expected. My 86-year-old Cuban coach who was a mentor, friend, and even father knew that it was my dream, and his dream to be part of this meet and be able to win it. Unfortunately, last Christmas break he passed away and he will not be able to be there to fulfill the dream that we both had, hence why this meet means much more than just a "competition."
How did you receive this opportunity to compete in these Olympics?
"For the past six years, I have been captain of the Honduran National Diving Team. Through out the years we had very little support from out national federation. Once I came to Hope, I was contacted by the president of the Central American and Caribbean Diving Committee to invite me to be part of this international diving event. He saw my progress through the years and practically told me I had to be there. At the same time, the Honduran Olympic committee was emailing me to offer the opportunity of a lifetime by joining the delegation."
How has your time as a diver at Hope helped prepare you for this opportunity?
"My time here at Hope has helped me a lot. My coach, Zach (Golin), pushed me every day to try new dives that I never though I could do. Now I am finally able to have a great competitive list that should help me pursue my dreams in this sport."