The first challenge we have faced has been to be a woman, and more so in the world of professional sports. That is already a great challenge in every way. Neither Elvira nor I had it easy, much less than any man of that time. That people believed in us was very complicated for the moment and the society in which we lived, because of the status quo itself. I imagine that for Elvira, who dedicated herself to teaching, it was not easy because there would be many people with prejudices for having a woman as a teacher. It was not easy for them to bet on us.
I had little help when I started, Valderrama, Jaime Ortiz Patiño helped me, but I had to go outside of Spain to earn a living as a golf professional. Here it was implantable.
It was a great challenge to make the backpack and go to the United States with all that that entails, abandon your family, your friends, your country, your customs, and start from scratch in another country that at that time was very different from ours, new friends, challenges … It seems fascinating but it is not. They were moments of loneliness, of uncertainty. I learned a lot about everything, not just golf, but it wasn't easy and, furthermore, what I was doing was not very well understood here. Personally, I did not have much support other than that of my family.
Both Elvira and I had to overcome great prejudices. The main one, that of being a woman. And the second, being a woman at that time and wanting to succeed. In those days women were considered weaker, traditionally they were not one of those who launched themselves into great challenges. It was understood that women should be at home taking care of their children and their husband, so we had to break with the traditions of that time, those barriers that I did not have in the United States. Everything was different, and I would have loved not to have them in my country and to have been able to develop my career as a professional golfer here.
Marta Figueras-Dotti, at the National Golf Center.kike para
For 20 years or so a change has been noticed important in my field and in the world of professional women's golf. I marked that path of going out to study at an American university, which gave you logistics and support for personal development and as a golf player, something that was not found here and, moreover, was not well regarded. I think I broke a real cement ceiling and many players came behind. Some reached the professional world and others did not, but I am sure that the experience was positive for all of them, that they chose the appropriate path.
Today has improved a lot but there is still a long way to go. Women still have to be given many more possibilities to reach the level of men, and there is no lack of enthusiasm. The work, the effort, the discipline and the success are the same, but neither the awards nor the recognition are. Women do not have the same opportunities.
Marta Figureras-Dotti was a professional golfer and the first Spanish athlete to be awarded a scholarship in the US Today she is president of the European women's golf circuit.
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