Name: Gabriel Ho-Garcia
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2015
Sport: Field Hockey
2nd at Champions Challenge in Kuantan, Malaysia
2015 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist
Hometown: Burnaby, BC
Horoscope Sign: Taurus
On The National Team Since: 2011
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
Being a CAN Fund Recipient makes a huge difference in my push to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. With Field Hockey being partly player funded, a large portion of my carding cheques go straight back into training and tour levies. These levies along with living and commuting expenses have caused me to have to borrow money from my parents in the past. I’ve contemplated getting a job, but being a part time student I fear that I will not be able to handle university, work and field hockey all at once. The support from CAN Fund allows me to not only finally pay my parents back, but also gives me financial support for future tours with the National Field Hockey Team. I can now fully focus on the Pan American Games in Toronto to help my team qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I played soccer when I was younger, but the season would end during the Spring, leaving me sitting around all day at home. My mother resorted to putting me in sports that would keep me active. After testing a few sports that my mom considered didn’t involve me running enough, a friend recommended that I try out field hockey. I wasn’t bad at field hockey so I decided to keep at it, and now I’m blessed to be able to represent Canada.
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was walking out during the Opening Ceremony at the Common Wealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The pride that I felt representing Canada that day is indescribable.
What is one thing you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
Back in 2013, Toronto hosted the Pan American Cup, where the winner would advance to play at the 2014 Field Hockey World Cup. After expecting to make the squad, I was shocked when I was not named to the team. Canada went on to the finals and we lost the game and the chance to go to the world cup. Sitting in front of my television and being unable to influence the game burned me up on the inside and I told myself I would work hard to never have to go through that again. Ever since I’ve made every tour to represent Canada through putting in hard work to constantly be improving.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions or routines?
I have one main superstition and a few routines. My superstition is to wear my socks on the opposite foot as my game socks tell me which foot they belong on. My routine is to always pray right before the umpire blows the whistle to start the game. I also listen to either my Lana Del Rey or The Weeknd playlist before every game.
What is a healthy snack you eat before or after training sessions?
A healthy snack I always eat before the majority of my trainings is a banana with a bit of yogurt.
What do you value most in your friends?
I value friends who are genuine and who are honest when I ask them for their opinions.
Greatest advice a coach has ever given you?
Mistakes always occur in a game, it’s how you recover from your mistakes that define you as a player.
What is your favourite thing about being on the road with your teammates?
Team meals are my favorite part of tours. It’s when the team has time to relax, put our cell phones away, talk, and just make fun of each other.
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
Madrid, it always feels like a second home when I’m there.
What is the most played song on your ipod?
Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite sports team?
Who is your favourite athlete?
What is your favourite song or band/musician?
Lana Del Rey