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Mariana Zúñiga: First UC Chile student to win an Olympic medal

The Psychology freshman made history by winning the university's first Olympic-paralympic medal, adding a fourth medal for the Chilean delegation in Japan.

a woman in a red shirt is holding a bow and arrow

photo_camera Mariana Zúñiga's silver meda is the first Paralympic and Olympic medal from a student at UC Chile.

Mariana Zúñiga hit the bull's eye. After a problematic training in a reduced space of 18 meters, enough to launch her arrows to the shooting targets, the Psychology student managed to get on the podium of the Tokyo Paralympics and win the silver medal. It is the first medal in her category for our country. 

After her victory, the athlete said to Marca Claro channel:

"I am super excited. It would not have been possible without my family's support, my mom, especially. I'm also thankful for all the people who have been behind me, sending me messages of support: my friends and my archery teammates". 

Zúñiga had already made history for her sporting career and the country. She qualified for Tokyo after achieving a triple record at the Parapan American Games in Monterrey in April. She won a gold medal and made a triple record, which allowed Chile to have a representative in the archery discipline for the first time in the Paralympic Games. 

"It was a tremendous joy because I believe this type of achievement allows us to show people that Paralympic archery exists. We are here, and we are achieving important things", she mentioned at the website of the School of Psychology before flying to Tokyo.

The triumph of the future psychologist has been a source of great joy for the UC.

A role model

"She is a magnificent example that has to do with valuing not only competitive sport but fundamentally self-improvement. Her triumph is an example given to her peer group, to generations of students, and all the youth of our country," said Rector Ignacio Sánchez.

"To have a person like Mariana within our campus makes us offer her our admiration and gratitude for her example. She has developed to the maximum of her potential. She has overcome all the difficulties that life has presented to her with effort and dedication."

The silver medal of the freshman is the first Paralympic and Olympic medal for the Catholic University.

"We are delighted not only for her victory in Japan, but also for Mariana's entire career as an athlete. Her silver medal is also a triumph for the visibility of Paralympic sport and women's sport in Chile. A triumph in line with the values of our faculty for a more inclusive and fair society", said the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and psychologist, Mariane Krause. 

"The achievement obtained by Mariana is one more example of persistence, dedication, and a gigantic effort in the pursuit of goals," added the rector. 

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