Marlen Esparza made history at the 2012 London Olympics—where women’s boxing was added as an Olympic sport for the first time—by becoming the first United States female boxer to win a round as well as the first to medal with a bronze. And now, Esparza is making plans to visit the Rensselaer campus on Thursday, March 27, as part of the Rensselaer Union Speakers Forum program.
Esparza will deliver a presentation titled “Fiercely Latina: Channeling Your Heritage’s Spirit in the Ring,” where she will discuss “how Latinos don’t have to fall prey to typical stereotypes, such as not graduating from high school, and instead should feel empowered to pursue their dreams.” She plans to share her story about the trials and rewards of being a trailblazing woman and Latina in a sport traditionally dominated by men.
These days, Esparza now looks to return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 to pursue the gold. Despite her rigorous training schedule, she finds time to complete Houston Community College online courses in order to become a doctor specializing in anesthesiology, while also working to launch her own beauty and fashion line.
Members of the campus and local community are invited to have an opportunity to meet and hear firsthand accounts and experiences from Esparza at the Rensselaer Union Speakers Forum program. The program will be in the Darrin Communications Center, room 308, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Esparza will deliver a presentation titled “Fiercely Latina: Channeling Your Heritage’s Spirit in the Ring,” where she will discuss “how Latinos don’t have to fall prey to typical stereotypes, such as not graduating from high school, and instead should feel empowered to pursue their dreams.”
Esparza’s winning streak began long before the Summer Olympics. She has been ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for the last seven consecutive years and has won six consecutive U.S. National Championships, for which she was awarded the title of “Outstanding Fighter of the Tournament” in 2009 and 2011.
As part of the 2012 USA Boxing National Team, she won one gold and two silver medals at the Pan American Games and one bronze medal at the Women’s World Championships in India.
Esparza is undefeated in every national tournament she has entered to date. In 2011, CNN featured her for their Latino in America 2 series in a segment titled “In Her Corner,” reported by award-winning anchor Soledad O’Brien. Esparza was also named among “12 Athletes to Watch in ’12” by the U.S. Olympic Committee and was selected for Coca-Cola, CoverGirl, and McDonald’s 2012 Olympic campaigns. She is also a Nike featured athlete.
Launched in 1998, the Rensselaer Union Speakers Forum is a lecture program that brings a broad range of speakers to campus. Invited guests deliver remarks on topics that include high adventure, education, personal experience, entertainment, social science, the arts, entrepreneurship, culture, athletics, current events, politics, and recreation, among others.
Tickets are required to attend. To reserve a ticket, contact the Rensselaer Union at 276-6505 or stop by the administration office on the third floor of the Union.