“It’s a dream come true for me, for the entire team, and for the flag football community in Mexico.”
These were Diana Flores’ first comments after beating the United States 39-6 in the World Games final, held in Birmingham, Alabama, and winning the gold medal for Mexico.
Diana was the quarterback who led the Aztec offensive during the tournament. The team were undefeated and won all their games by more than 20 points.
The recent Marketing and Communication graduate from Tec de Monterrey’s Santa Fe campus confirmed that the victory showcases the level at which the sport is played across the country.
“We’ve always been among the top and today we’ve shown that the best flag football in the world is played in our country. This marks the beginning of a new era,” she told CONECTA in an interview.
“We’ve always been among the top and today we’ve shown that the best flag football in the world is played in our country. This marks the beginning of a new era.”
Mexican team stands out
The Mexican defense dominated the Americans and only allowed them one touchdown, while Diana and her teammates never took their feet off the gas during the attack.
In the final seconds of the game, the victory anthem “Cielo Lindo” was sung from the stands. The Mexican women’s squad made history in their flag football debut at this global competition.
Diana and her Mexican squad teammates remain undefeated after beating Japan 34-13, Brazil 46-6, Italy 49-0 and France 41-6. In the semifinal, they beat Panama 30-7.
The national squad stood out as one of the most powerful in the global arena by winning all their matches by more than 20 points.
“I am very proud of what each of the Mexican players did on the field. Those last seconds waiting for the game to end and taste glory were indescribable,” explains Flores Arenas.
The Mexican Team celebrated in the United States on the night of July 14 with some relatives.
Diana’s parents and siblings are very important to her and, even though they could not be with her in person on this occasion, she said she was anxious to get back to the Olympic village, connect to the Internet, and talk to them.
“They are my motivation. I want to get back there and talk to them on the phone,” she said.
Mexico vs. United States: a battle for global dominance in flag football
Before this gold-medal winning encounter, Mexico and the United States had previously fought for the Flag Football World Cup held in Israel in 2021, with the Aztec team being the runners-up.
Their last meeting was during what has become known as The Rematch, an event held in Los Angeles last February as part of the Super Bowl Experience, where the Mexicans lived up to the name of the event and took revenge by winning 32-25.
“We know that the United States plays good football. They’ve got a good level, but we prepared a lot both physically and mentally. We knew we had to be ready for any team,” confessed Diana.
“I think the passion that each one of us shows on the field was what allowed us take this result home,” she added, describing the triumph.
The United States National Football League (NFL) followed the final on its social media accounts.
Flag football promoter to include it at Los Angeles 2028
The debut of flag football at these World Games was historic. During the event, the creation of the “Vision28” group was announced, which is focused on spearheading the sport’s campaign to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games.
Diana Flores acts as a representative of flag football athletes for the group of promoters, which is headed by Pierre Trochet, president of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and Troy Vincent, vice president of NFL operations.
“As an athlete, my dream is to see flag football in the Olympic Games, to see the game that I love represented on sport’s greatest stage,” said Flores Arenas during the announcement.
The Mexican Team won the bronze medal in the men’s category by beating Austria 39-35.
“Flag football is special: it’s fast, creative, and exciting, but most importantly, it is for everyone; men and women; young and old; tall or short.
“On the field, we are all equal. When I play, I feel free and empowered. In 2028, I hope the whole world will share our love for this sport,” she said in a statement released by the NFL.
About The World Games
This is an international sporting event which takes place every four years, in the year after the Summer Olympics. In 2022, it took place in Birmingham, Alabama, between July 7 and 17.
3,600 athletes representing more than 100 countries around the world compete in more than 30 unique and multidisciplinary sports.
The World Games are organized by the International World Games Association (IWGA), a non-profit organization formed by 37 International Sports Federations and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Watch the prize-giving ceremony here:
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