Por: Tannya Millencka
Let’s go back to 2020, The Olympics Games Tokyo begin, however, nobody is talking about any Chilean athlete, the main press in Chile is focusing on a foreign Irish sportswoman, due to her last name becoming viral in social media. We are talking about Sarah Lavin, who is famous thanks to the Chilean people personality.
Let’s get to know a little more about Sarah Kate Lavin. The 28 years old Olympic athlete was born in Limerick, Ireland and until 3 years ago, she was a complete stranger to us, but in the athletic world, she’s well known. Sarah specializes in high hurdles, both in the 100m and 60m categories, in 2013 she won a silver medal at the 2013 European Junior Championships and her last personal best is 7.97 seconds in the 60 meters hurdles in Serbia 2022.
When we interviewed Sarah and asked her if she felt surprised with the Chilean support she received in the Tokyo competition, she answered: “Yes!! It really surprised me, the power of internet and memes but the support has continued since the Tokyo Olympics and we’re only a year out from the next one in Paris…that has definitely surprised me!”
Let’s remember, by the time this happened she was very shocked with the growing fame, and she posted on Twitter asking for an explanation to why she appeared in a Chilean meme-based profile: “I need to find someone from Chile to explain this one”. Sarah never imagined that the memes were because of her last name Lavin, same as Joaquin Lavin, ex presidential candidate.
The post had a huge reception and got viral almost immediately, with many Chileans commenting on her tweet to give her context. We asked about this moment, when she became viral because of her last name and Sarah said: “I think it’s a little crazy”.
Nonetheless, despite the Irishwoman not understanding her fame in Chile very well, she received the support with open arms and even joined to the comments section, replying in an Instagram post: “Relished the experience but head down for another few weeks, racing season ain’t done yet! Vamos la Roja” these last words in Spanish to demonstrate her feeling to all Chileans.
Her streak in Chile didn’t stop with just a simple meme, Santa Rita Wine choose Sarah as ambassador for the new exportation wine without alcohol, 120 Zero Alcohol Cabernet Sauvignon and 120 Zero Alcohol Sauvignon Blanc, which were included in the «better for you» category for European market products in 2021 as indicated in Santa Rita’s annual memoir.
After this charismatic approach with our country, we asked her if she would like to get to know Chile and answered:” I would love to visit Chile and see the beautiful country, understand the culture, and meet the amazing people. I am hoping to maybe get a chance later this year!”
Although, at this moment, Sarah Lavin has her own goals a little far from Chile:” my main focus this year is the World Championships in Budapest in August and to try qualify for the Paris Olympics. The qualification window opens July 1, 2023”.
We can only wish the best for the athlete who was adopted by a whole, big group of Chilean people and we hope that she will visit us soon.