Brave Iturbides back on her feet, again

While keeping up her school studies, she then played for three amateur clubs before earning her selection for the national Olympic team, the first to represent Dominican Republic in a FIFA tournament.

“We spent ten months preparing for the Youth Olympic Games and we knew that we’d be coming up against teams that were better than us,” she explained. “That’s what learning’s all about, though. Even though we’re losing matches, we need to learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward.”

Iturbides is one of life’s optimists, and she projects her sunny outlook on life out on the futsal court, where she is all smiles and positive attitude. In recognition of that, a group of fans chanted her name during her team’s match against Portugal, after which she went over to speak to them and pose for photos.

“I think they took me into their hearts,” she said with a laugh. “How am I not going to enjoy all this? Dominican Republic, a country that produces out-and-out baseball players, is playing futsal at the Olympic Games and has the chance to take on a powerhouse like Portugal.”

Regardless of what the rest of the tournament brings, Iturbides has an important goal to achieve before June 2019: to find a university where she can study and continue playing futsal.

“It started out being just a sport where I could de-stress myself, but now I just love it,” she said, before contemplating what the future might hold for her national team: “I hope this squad can be the foundation for something better and stronger. Time will tell.”

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