On Tuesday evening, role model, Andrea Medina, a USA Amateur Boxing National Champion plus High School Honor Roll student received a Proclamation from Mary Casillas Salas, the Mayor of the City of Chula Vista, in recognition for all she has done by the tender age of sixteen.
As her Aunt/God Mother, Mari Idano put it, “Andrea Medina, the world is your oyster.” The idiom, The world is your oyster means that you can do or achieve anything you want in life, because you have the ability, an opportunity and the freedom to do so. Well, if you’re a writer and on deadline, there are times when you just can’t find the proper words and you need a friend to lend a hand. Last night, Mari Idano, a wordsmith of sorts, came through for me and wrote this meaningful tribute to her 16 year-old Grand-niece/God-daughter Andrea Medina. Not only does Mari have a talent for finding the right words, she also has one of the biggest hearts.
Mari Idano: “Today the City of Chula Vista recognized my Grand-niece/God-daughter Andrea “The Boss” Medina for her accomplishments in the Sport of Boxing. The Mayor of Chula Vista, Mary Casillas Salas, presented her with the following “Proclamation” and then went on to name the majority of her major accomplishments, one by one, adding “not only is she a Great Boxer, an Olympic Hopeful, an Honor Student in High School, she’s also a Beautiful Young Lady.”
“Although I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of her life, it was very emotional for me to hear everything the Mayor had to say. And all of these accomplishments at such a very young age…words cannot express how proud I am. Andrea, the world is your oyster, Mama Girl. This is real and your time is now! Keep your feet firmly on the ground and don’t lose sight of your goals! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your dreams! Your Number #1 Fan Loves You To Eternity and Back, Forever and EVER! ❤
Others quickly jumped on the bandwagon. This “feeling proud group” included many friends and relatives which of course included mates from the Bound Boxing Academy. They were all there at the City Council Meeting in Chula Vista, California, on Andrea’s day, August 18, 2015.
Juan Medina, Jr.: “My daughter Andrea and I have been on this crazy journey, a crazy roller coaster ride, a crazy uphill battle. We have been working hard, staying dedicated to the sport and most of all we’ve sacrificed so much. At this stage, all that hard work is beginning to pay off. We can see the light at the end of tunnel.”
Later on, her father elaborated on what he said earlier: “The statement is so true. Me, personally, I put my family through hell following my dream of owning this gym, the Bound Boxing Academy. It could have been disastrous, especially in our first year. Everyone will tell you, there’s no money in boxing and yet we turned this abandoned space into a thriving gym. I believe the metaphor of a roller coaster ride is so spot on.
“As far as Andrea, who started boxing at eight years old, we’d often travel great distances only to find her opponent didn’t want to fight. The only time she was assured of a bout was when an opponent was one or even two years older or 10 pounds heavier.
“It was the same for all the kids. I would send a list of 10 boxers to a show’s organizer and he’d select two. Then, when we’d arrive at the venue, we’d learn one or both of the boxers pulled out of the competition claiming they had to work, had a shoulder problem, not feeling 100%, or didn’t have a chance to spar that week.
“When Andrea was 14 and very good, nobody wanted to fight her. It’s understandable that she would get frustrated and it’s hard to train when you get discouraged. Without the motivation she got lazy. She’d come to me and say, “What am I training for?” She was thinking about quitting.
“At that point, she wanted to stop boxing all together and I needed to persuade her to give it one last shot. I said, ‘If you do well in this next tournament, which she did, we could continue on.’ We scrambled big time to get the money together for that trip back East. She did train but at only at say 50 to 60% of her capacity. Still it was good enough to rise above the five other girls.
From that point on, I no longer had to motivate her. She knew exactly what it takes. Now, she’s always working out and preparing herself for battle. As far as weight, she feels she’s her strongest at 132 pounds.”
Additional responses from friends/relatives:
Mario Perez: “Congratulations young Champion, you are an ambassador of hard work that pays off.”
Adriana Idano: “To say that I am proud is an understatement. It was an honor to be there tonight. I am speechless, emotional, and in awe of how amazing this beautiful little human is. Love you Drea, so, so, so very much.”
Ruth Arellano: “Well deserved. Putting that name in the record books! Not many can say they’ve received such a proclamation at any age. Hang it proudly!”
Edgar Sandoval: “This is only the beginning Handreah!”