- Jorge Mario is Guatemalan. His native language is Spanish; he also speaks English and French.
Since early childhood, he loved sport and dreamed to dedicate his life to it. 5 years of study in the University brought him a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport and Physical Education, and the Cycling Federation of Guatemala offered him a job after it. For 10 years, he had been working for the Federation, the last four of them as a General Manager. His good services and self-devotion to his job made him a bright professional in everything he was doing, and the Guatemalan Olympic Committee hired him as a Technical Director.
In summer 2008, International Olympic Committee had its meeting at Guatemala. At this meeting, the Committee was choosing the city for the Winter Olympic Games in 2014. After a rigorous and challenging procedure, a Russian city Sochi was announced to be the winner. That time, Jorge Mario could not even think, how close that far-away country can become for him in several years.
In summer 2013, he became a student of the Master of Sport Administration Program of Russian International Olympic University, and received a Scholarship from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation.
He arrived in Sochi on September 12 and started his study. He liked the Program as has learned a lot about the history, structure and challenges of the Olympic Movement He met many interesting colleagues from different countries, famous professors from all over the world. He started understanding Russian culture taking part in students’ theater performances, visiting restaurants that offer traditional food, talking, and communicating with his fellow Russian students.
Until February 2014, for five months he was able to see with his own eyes all the changes in the city, which was preparing for Olympics. Starting from construction of buildings and roads and ending with numerous and outstanding sport facilities – everything was getting ready for the big sport holiday. More and more people, sportsmen and tourists were coming to visit Sochi as the Olympic Games were coming.
During the Olympics, Jorge Mario together with his friends-students actively took part in many events, and they met a number of very important and interesting people. Jorge Mario talked to Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Princess Ann from the United Kingdom, Wifried Lemke, Special Assistant of Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary of United Nations, etc.
Jorge says - “For me it was very important to receive a Scholarship from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation; First of all, it´s a dream come true to take a Master in Europe and particularly in Sochi, Organizer City of the Winter Olympic Games. I have a fresh memory of the moment when IOC bestowed the right to Sochi to organize the games in 2014 and it´s an honor to know that this happened in my country, Guatemala. At that moment, I could not imagine that I would be present in a Winter Olympic Games; and now I realize that thanks to the Vladimir Potanin Foundation I was present not just as a spectator but as a student, living through the games in a different way. It´s something that I simply could not afford by myself and I´m conscious that it´s a once in a life time opportunity!”
He thinks, “The initiative of the Foundation providing scholarships to study in RIOU for the MSA is something that will help the development of sport on the national and international level. We are the first MSA Program intake, and on the basis of our experience I can say, that it will allow people from around the world to take benefit of the complex and complete education that will be given by the experts. And it is very important to stress the desire and good will of the Foundation to help students regardless of their religious, political or economic background.
I can do nothing but succeed at the program!”