By Rodrigo Padilla / Special to the Delta
Missouri Valley is mostly populated by students athletes, but some might not know that some of those students are actually part of an international sports team.
Anya Muyres, a Viking softball player, came from Tampa, Florida in 2016 to Missouri Valley as a freshman and has been part of the team since. She’s a Public Relations Major with a minor in Marketing. One interesting fact about Muyres is that she is half Swedish due that her mom was born in Sweden and married an American.
Muyres has been part of the Swedish softball team since she was sixteen years old, she has been one of the youngest players to join the Swedish squad.
“I had a friendship with Michele Smith, who is Farley known in the softball world, and she actually had the connection with the Swedish national coach and convince him to come down to Florida to watch me play during a high school game,” Muyres said.
Michele Smith an ESPN analyst, former Olympic medalist and former professional softball player was asked about Muyres and how their relationship began.
“Muyres was coached by Linda Derk, and coach Derk was telling me how talented she was and her family connection with Sweden,” Smith said. adding how she helped Muyres to join the Swedish softball squad.
“I have good connections with the European Softball Federation and their coaches so it was a natural fit to introduce them to each other. Sweden is a big part of the ESF and the sport —so trying to support athletes and give them opportunities and countries working hard to develop their programs is something I’m passionate about,” Smith said.
Muyres was part of the Swedish squad that participated in last summer European softball cup that took place in Milan, Italy.
These tournaments have taken Muyres to travel around Europe getting to know different countries such as Italy, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.
Sabrina George, Missouri Valley alumni, also Viking softball player and softball assistant coach, commented on Muyres as a MVC softball team member.
“As a team member, Anya was a supportive teammate, with a kind heart, and hard work ethics on and off the field,” George said. “Every practice is treated as if it were a real game time. Full effort and dedication.”
Muyres has treated her softball career with respect and dedication throughout the years she has been part of the sport taking her to where she is right now.
One of the biggest opportunities that are coming up for Muyres is being able to play in the upcoming Olympic 2020 games taking place in Tokyo, Japan. This summer she’ll be traveling to Europe to participate in another European cup taking place in Prague, located in the Czech Republic. She mentioned that in this tournament there will be more teams than any other cup they have been part of.
“I think is potentially cause the Olympics are coming up and it’s a very exciting opportunity to be able to play these girls and represent Sweden at the same time,” Muyres added.
If they win the the upcoming tournament the Swedish Softball team will get a spot to participate in next Olympic games.
Next academic year will be Muyres last year in Missouri Valley as she will graduating and will be taking on her next adventure back home in Tampa.