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MEXICO: The first & only women’s national ice hockey team

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Bertha González Maza (L), 28, one of the forwards of the Selección femenil de México de hockey sobre hielo, portrayed before a match at the Ice World Santa Fe ice rink in Mexico City, Mexico on November 24, 2018. The team played against the Stars in the “Midget” Hockey League, they won 5-3. Bertha is a one of the longest playing members of the team and currently works as operation manager at the Mexico Ice Hockey Federation. Ten years ago, she moved from her hometown of San Luis Potosi, where there are no ice rinks, to Mexico City to play ice hockey.  “What I like about hockey is teaching other people that you can break barriers and stereotypes. The fact that women are playing with men is breaking a barrier; the fact that Mexico is playing against countries that have been training in ice hockey for years is breaking barrier,” she says. Founded in 2012, the Selección femenil de México de hockey sobre hielo is the first and only women’s national ice hockey team in Mexico, a country where ice rinks are expensive and rare. In the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship Division II in Iceland, the team defied expectations; They won Group B, securing their promotion to Group A, and became the only Mexican ice hockey team to have achieved such a feat. This year, they are competing in the 2019 IIHF Women's World Championship Division II in Scotland. Having become the first Mexican team to advance to the second round of the Winter Olympics qualifiers in 2016, the now self-financed team are training for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, hoping to be the first Latin American team to compete in ice hockey. (Photo by Bénédicte Desrus)