Interview with Colombian foosball magician Lautek

Laura Catalina Gómez is one of the most prominent players in the new football trend – billiards. After achieving success as a football tennis player, Lautec moved into table football, representing Colombia in important international competitions.

Let her introduce herself and tell us her admirable story…

My name is Laura Catalina Gómez, I was born in Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, land of the Colombian Salt Cathedral, I am 22 Since I was a baby, my parents told me about their love for football, I started playing football at a very young age, I used to go to the street with my friends to play, and when I lost I would go into it angrily House, for me even though I am a woman vs man, losing is not an option.

The last words, don’t lose, will be his uncompromising ones throughout his career:

I remember we played cover football, 1 on 1, little blocks, games, and that’s how love was born: I told my parents I wanted to join a football club, initially my mom didn’t agree, but, when I was in seventh grade, a A physical education teacher named Gabriel Méndez invited me to tryouts for the interschool football team, and he then invited me to his football club; Flinders.

I started training, went to tournaments and found my place in football, I started as a striker, then as a left midfielder, I was always a creative midfielder, I never played defensively, I felt like my game was always very attacking , passing, creating and I love taking free kicks.

The spirit of delivering and creating will remain in his blood, as will be borne out in the back of his story.

As time went on, I started getting calls from Equidad, Millonarios, Santa Fe, Equidad, Deportivo Pereira, and personally, while I felt like I was doing well, I felt like I had a different composition. I have no chance of joining any team.

The way will be different:

I entered university to study a Bachelor of Sports Science where I got to know football-tennis and the sport caught my attention because while I used football techniques a lot it required other skills such as volleys, acrobatics, spin with the ball , which means the challenge when starting the game. Then I realized the sport has the World Cup and the Copa America and I tend to train 100%. At the time I remember it was an internal struggle, football or football tennis.

The call was clear, Lautek made his decision and his first World Cup arrived:

When the first Soccer Tennis World Cup approached, I was 17 and had a lot of aspirations as an athlete and the opportunity to go out and represent my country. A range of emotions were presented, but in particular, it all made sense when I received a message at a Christian conference: If you put God first, He will bring You go to many countries. I decided to believe in the word, which gave me the opportunity to play for the first time in the World Cup of Tennis Soccer: we won the title of world champion, which made me pay more attention to sports preparation, other events appeared, such as Copa America 2021 in Ecuador, The 2022 Copa America will be held in Mexico, where we returned to the podium as champions of the Americas and won the Player of the Tournament award. On the other hand, we won the mixed category.

There is a financial cost to these competitions, including the necessary travel costs, which was a real challenge considering I was studying at university, which I was able to overcome to a large extent with the great support my parents gave me.

Foosball comes at just the right time:

So after finishing my degree, I started looking into foosball, a sport I occasionally saw and played. It caught my attention because the technique is similar to soccer tennis, but it changes the dynamics of the game, which means a greater challenge. I started to see its order, its rise and its impact on social networks around the world through football ambassadors, competitions and awards, so six months later I started a project called “Titanium Teqball” next to Ximena Martínez project, he leads me in the administrative part of the club and I in charge of the sporting part.

The titanium table tennis ball, joined by Liu, has been one of the fundamental pillars of the sport’s incursion into Bogota and the rest of the country:

Thank God, with this project we managed to introduce foosball to professional football clubs and showcase the sport with the Hungarian embassy; the country is the birthplace of foosball and with IDRD a project to make Young people get involved and start dreaming. After some hard work, we had the opportunity to present foosball for the first time at the Valledupar Bolivar Games 2022, when 4 athletes from different parts of the country were called together, Yesith Simales (Cali), Brian Barona (Cal Leigh), Nilson “Choco” Castañeda (Medellin) thus became the first women to demonstrate foosball in Colombia.

This experience allowed me to shape this new path as an athlete. Some time later, two Colombians, Nelson “Jocco” Castañeda and I, Lautec, were able to participate in the 2022 South American Games in Asunción, Paraguay, presenting foosball alongside two Brazilians. Arriving from this trip, the desire to race officially began; Choco and I knew each other so well during the race, which allowed us to end up as a mixed duo. A big hurdle is the problem of not having a visa, because there are almost no visas in the United States. Monthly tournament foosball.

The Foosball World Cup was the real dream, and later…

We continued training and waiting for the right time. I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador and prepare for a month in pool. I met world champions in pool, Leo Lindoso and Rafaela Fontes. Then I was called to go. Participate in the South American Sea 2023 Santa Marta Olympics and Beach Games. Foosball takes participation in these events very seriously as it hopes to compete in the Olympics by 2028.

In the next few days, Lautec will travel to Brazil for a pool tour with “Choco” and “Dexter” Gonzalez. “The world is crooked”, “Colombia is crooked”: from the hands of these great athletes who left a great reputation for this country.

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