The combination of Chinese-Mexican effort in athletics, could not be better represented than by Ma Jin. Eighteen long years have passed since she left her native Beijing, to settle in Mexico City to become coach of the Mexican National Diving Team.
The coach faced great personal challenges upon arrival. She left her 11-year-old son behind in China, whom she didn’t see again until he turned 17. Her focus however was to learn Spanish to communicate with the athletes, while dealing with a complicated environment due to division within the Olympic team.
Ma Jin was unmoved by her challenges, however. Although it often crossed her mind to return to China, the resulting excellent performances, and the emotional bond she developed with her students, mainly Paola Espinosa and Rommel Pacheco, created a real love for Mexico deep in her heart. Coach Jin has had many more successful students over the years, whom she has taught under the principles of Chinese discipline and technique.
“I am proud to be Chinese and to help Mexico with the knowledge I learned in my country, ”said Ma Jin, who preferred to honor her parents, Meng Xiu Lan and Ma de Qing, by not leaving competitions despite their respective deaths. That is the size of the commitment and responsibility of the coach.
The postponed Tokyo 2020 will be the fourth Olympic Games in which Ma Jin leads Mexican divers.
Ma Jin believes that Mexico can take the podium in Tokyo, although China is considered the number one power in diving.
“The greatest possibilities are in the mens, both on the trampoline and on the platform, and synchronized swimminhg, it is where you can get the medals”, said the specialist, who in 2012 received the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca, highest recognition given by the Mexican government to foreign citizens.
While her compatriots are the rivals to beat in the dive pit, the Chinese-Mexican coach has a clear mission: to take Mexico to the top of the podium.