Jan. 31, 2013
My name is Cristian Gonzalez Mendez and I am a member of the FSU Men’s Tennis Team. I was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I have two older sisters and a Siberian husky named Shaki in honor of the famous Colombian singer Shakira.
I am a sophomore at Florida State, recruited the fall of 2011 to represent the school as part of the men’s tennis team. I am applying for Public Relations major, the reason that brought me to write this journal for Seminoles.com.
My main goal in life is to work for ESPN. Since I was little, I would watch the sports channel all day long, memorizing all the opinions, stories, facts and statistics. This is what inspired me to focus my professional career on working for ESPN; to communicate all the sporting facts and statics, in addition to my professional opinion, to the public.
Tennis is my favorite sport; hence why I chose to play it. I started playing when I was ten years old, and since then, my passion for this sport has rapidly grown. However, before I began my tennis career, soccer was the love of my life. I started playing on a soccer team when I was five and I kept playing it for nine more years. I started with soccer because it is my dad’s beloved game. As a young child, he taught me the secrets to be a good soccer player; however, it was tennis that proved to be my natural talent.
At the age of 13, I did quit soccer and basketball to focus on tennis. A year later I was selected to join a high performance school where I combined academics and tennis for the next 5 years. During this stage of my life, I learned that life is about working as hard as you can. I spent all of my time studying, practicing, and playing in tournaments. This dedication improved my tennis skills, taking me to a high level. When I finished high school, someone told me that I was good enough to play college tennis in a top university.
I made the life changing decision to play collegiate tennis in the U.S. It was not an easy decision because it meant I would have to leave my home country.
Fortunately, my parents strongly supported me when I told them that I really wanted to go to the United States to study and play tennis. After a couple months of receiving offers from different schools all across the country, Florida State finally contacted me and I suddenly knew where I was headed. Florida has always been one of the places that I wanted to visit during my life, and when I had the opportunity to go to college there, I was almost sold. I came on an official visit during the spring semester of 2011 and everything I saw amazed me. The sporting facilities are incredible, the campus is beautiful, and the people are really friendly and kind. Florida State University is a well-known school by its tradition, its academic programs and its athletic department. Obviously, Florida State was the right choice to make and in the fall of 2011, I moved to the United States to start the most challenging stage of my life.
Nowadays, I am really happy I chose Florida State University. Here, I have the opportunity to coexist and get to know a great group of guys, my teammates. I have never been on a team where all the players have such a good chemistry and have so much fun together. I also appreciate all the effort and hard work of the coaches’ to make us the best athletes and people we can be. Finally, I’m thankful to have met the most amazing person in this world, who inspires me and motivates me every day.
If you have any questions for me, visit the team’s facebook page and ask anything you want to know. http://www.facebook.com/FSUMTennis