LOS ANGELES -- There are times when it seems like collectively, the whole country of Mexico draws its breath and holds it at once - such as when national team goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa dives to make a save against Brazilian superstar Neymar in World Cup action this past summer. It’s the anticipation of seeing one’s beloved nation make a mark on the world stage that delights people all over the country. That’s how sports can be truly inspirational.
The same holds true for the creative arts, and thus, it wasn’t surprising to see Mexicans worldwide react with pride and joy when director Alejandro González Iñárritu claimed the Academy Award for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture this past Sunday. It was also the second year in a row that a Mexican had won the Oscar for Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón won the Academy Award last year for directing 'Gravity').
The sports world in Mexico was no different in showering Iñárritu with praise, and not just because the director has also lent his talents to showcasing some of the best in soccer, for instance, like he did when directing this Nike commercial for the World Cup.
Iñárritu had also saluted the sports world at large with an Olympic commercial, as well.
Of course, in Mexico, the connection between sports and art is especially strong given that the Mexico men's national soccer team director, Hector González Iñárritu, is the director’s brother. So it wasn’t surprising that the national team Twitter account fired off a congratulatory post once the Oscar was awarded.
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) February 23, 2015
Mexico diver Paola Espinosa --an Olympic bronze and silver medalist-- also congratulated the director, as did a number of Liga MX clubs.
— Paola Espinosa (@PaolaEspinosaOf) February 23, 2015
— ClubSantosLaguna (@ClubSantos) February 23, 2015
Felicidades a todo el equipo de Birdman. Gran talento mexicano. ¡Enhorabuena! pic.twitter.com/yCpXzLKUAB
— CHIVAS (@Chivas) February 23, 2015
And the so-called 'Golden Boy' himself, Mexican-American boxing champ and promoter Oscar de la Hoya, also sent a congratulatory tweet for the statue that bears his name.
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) February 23, 2015
In addition, the director’s acceptance speech endeared him to Mexicans on both sides of the border as he touched on immigration issues for those in the USA, as well as improved government in Mexico itself.
— Vanessa Espinoza (@Vaneessii) February 23, 2015
Most of all, though, the win provided, just as Mexico’s national team often does, a chance to celebrate a notable accomplishment by a fellow Mexican. It was probably to be expected that some would mark the occasion by wearing the national team jersey.
Mañana me voy a llevar mi playera del tri de mi ?? para celebrar el triunfo de Iñarritu. #Zammda
— Compa Ixlol ?? (@ixlolcielo) February 23, 2015