She was part of the “golden generation” and as a goalkeeper she experienced the most important triumphs in women’s hockey in the country. Today his playing field is in the Garrahan hospital, where as a pediatrician he faces the coronavirus every day.
When The lioness -the Argentine women’s hockey team- won at the World Cup in Perth in 2002, Mariela Antoniska he was the one who saved the penalties in the final against the Netherlands.
Almost 20 years after the first great triumph of Argentine hockey, the former goalkeeper works as a pediatrician at the Garrahan Hospital while doing a specialization in the Hospital El Cruce scored by Florencio Varela when we have the information.
Lives in Climbing Remedies, in his usual neighborhood. It was in the south of the Conurbano, in the Lomas Athletic club, that he began to play. Despite being retired, at the age of 45 she continues to transfer the values of hockey to her career as a doctor.
“Many of the things that you do in sport are transferred to your work, where most things are done as a team. I always count on my colleagues and patients,” says Antoniska, who began with her residency in 2007, after leaving the selection.
In 2010 she was chosen among the five most important of the decade in her sport.
In addition to her love for hockey, Antoniska says that her passion for medicine was also always: “When I was a girl I had a family doctor and I accompanied him everywhere. And I always liked boys, I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician”.
The doctor also chose the branch of gastroenterology, in which she is currently specializing in El Cruce since she finished her residency.
When he started working at the Garrahan, the comments of his astonished colleagues were often the same. “Nobody could believe it, they asked me what I was doing in that hospital, if they had seen me on TV a few months ago,” recalls the former goalkeeper.
Lanús’s neighbor with her teammates from the Argentine team, the first “Leonas”.
Several patients also continue to identify her and stop to ask. Today those who recognize her are not the boys but their parents. Between talks and some photos, these situations became routine but are part of the enjoyment in his career.
The difficulty of maintaining both careers forced Mariela to make a final decision and dedicate herself fully to medicine. He played a few more years at the club Lomas AthleticBut the demand was still high. “I didn’t want to stop training but it was difficult for me to play with the guards on weekends, so I made the decision to leave, in 2011,” he explains.
However, despite having dropped out of hockey training, he continues to dedicate his free time to the sport. With some friends from that emblematic team, she began to play tennis informally to continue enjoying the exercise with her own schedules.
The Olympic medalist is specializing in bile ducts at the Florencio Varela hospital.
In addition to the time and dedication that any branch of medicine requires, the current context makes those rest times even more limited. At the Garrahan Hospital, Antoniska lives day by day with a complicated situation that has not given rest for more than a year.
“One always has to work in the same way and raise awareness among patients because the care is still the same,” emphasizes the doctor.
As stated, “the number of daily cases increased exponentially with the new strains “ And, despite the fact that most of the hospital staff is vaccinated, the care has to continue to strengthen to get to notice a change.
In a complex context for healthcare workers, passion and dedication are values that the former Leona continues to apply with more emphasis than ever in her work. For her, motivation is a key element that she maintains today thanks to hockey.
Las Leonas in Sydney, with the first Olympic podium in Argentine field hockey.
Among the best memories, there are undoubtedly the Olympic medals (silver in Sydney 2000, bronze in Athens 2004) and trips around the world. “I was lucky to have played all the most important tournaments in sport, and to have won almost all of them,” explains Antoniska.
Her first Olympic game – and one of the most unforgettable – was Sidney’s: “I was living the dream of every amateur athlete, they didn’t give me eyes to look at everything,” recalls the Olympic medalist and current doctor.
For Antoniska leona, who was also a gold medalist at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg 1999 and Santo Domingo 2003 and in the Champions Trophy from Amstelveen from 2001.
“We lacked an Olympic gold medal and I hope that at some point the Lionesses can have it. But beyond that I cannot complain, I am very satisfied and happy” he closes.