by Gonzalo Barak
The “El Nuevo Día” carried to headline “Puerto Rico tendrá su primer satélite especial”.
Gabriel Cascante was 12 years old when he started playing table tennis in San José, Costa Rica. He is the first Costa Rican to receive a university scholarship to play tennis outside his country. The young 22 year old electrical engineering student is part of the working group who created the first satellite that Puerto Rico will launch into space.
It is planned to be launched between 2019 and 2021, having being selected and approved by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
“Thanks to table tennis I won the scholarship that helped me to study in Puerto Rico. Conversations began at the World Junior Circuit and Ibero-American Championships in El Salvador in 2013. Days after that event, the university confirmed the offer and I started my studies in August of 2014.” Gabriel Cascante
Although it was not easy, he has been able to balance sport with his university studies.
“Sometimes it seems impossible to achieve in both but eventually with a lot of discipline that can be obtained through table tennis, you learn to apply that same discipline to other fields of life.” Gabriel Cascante
Certainly, he is reaping dividends playing in Puerto Rico but home is Costa Rica where, when he was 18 years old, he was amongst the top three names in the Central American country.
“I feel that pursuing academic excellence was a good decision; the love I had for table tennis can influence me when I least expect it and maybe I’ll train hard again.” Gabriel Cascante
It is a burning question as to whether Gabriel Cascante will play again for his national team, or whether he will continue representing his university. Probably more academic projects are in the pipeline but most certainly table tennis has left a mark on his career.
Most certainly, it has made him be who he is and who he will be: it will stay with him all his life.