Yucatán Dominates Mexican Soccer Team
By Maximo Pacheco (Athlete) y Cristián Maluje (Partner)
from the Chilean delegation to the Global Youth Summit 2003 for Scholastic News Online

Juan Eduardo Xool (left) of the Mexican soccer team, talks to Student Reporters Máximo Pacheco (second from right), and Cristián Maluje, of Chili. (Photos: Francisco Lobos)
June 22—The entire Mexican soccer team is from the Yucatán Peninsula, Juan Eduardo Xool told the Global Youth Summit reporters for Scholastic News Online. The 25-year-old athlete is beginning his tenth year in Special Olympics. He participated in the last two Special Olympics Summer Games in Alaska and North Carolina.

Juan Eduardo trains two hours daily, Monday to Friday, as a middlefield on his team. His favorite food is Mexican, his favorite animal is a cat, and he likes listening to music from Maná, La Ley, and Carlos Santana.

The Yucatán Peninsula is free of earthquakes, but does experience typhoons and electric storms. The coldest months of the year are October, November, and December.

Members of the Mexican soccer team at the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland. (Photos: Franciso Lobos, Global Youth Summit)
When he plays soccer, Juan Eduardo wears a playera, which is the Spanish word for T-shirt. He said he found out about Special Olympics through a friend, who invited him to participate.

The Mexican delegation to the World Games is made up of about 70 people, including athletes, coaches, and doctors. The trip from Mexico to Ireland took almost one and a half days. "Special Olympics are very well known in Mexico," Juan Eduardo told Scholastic News Online. "Very little differences are made between people who are not like the majority."