05 Apr 2018

Born in Costa Rica, Gabriel Cascante was awarded a table tennis scholarship in 2014, he moved to Puerto Rico to study Electronical Engineering at the Inter-American University in Bayamon. He represented the educational institution for five years in the Caribbean country’s league.

On Saturday 31st March, he was in the cover of one of the main newspapers in Puerto Rico; he is part of a working group that will launch the first Puerto Rico satellite in the history of the country. He is involved with communication programming of the module Puerto Rico CubeSat NanoRocks-2 (PR-CuNaR2).

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.

Gabriel Cascante celebrates success at the 2013 El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open (Photo: Alfredo Sanchez)
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