Which Guam Athlete Are You?
Take the quiz to find out!
You got: Jude Leon Guerrero - Patience and Discipline in Slinging
“The fact that this tradition was dormant for so long, I’d like to bring it back into this generation so they know what our ancestors used to practice, perfect, and use as a survival tool.”
Don’t let his 17 years of age fool you. Although young, Jude Leon Guerrero, also known as Chief, is a skilled slinger for the team Tálulo’ ha, which can be translated to “right on point” or “dead center.” Like Jude, you aim to be precise and accurate. Sports are more than just endurance and body control to you. In fact, it’s part of your identity. Yokpatu, slinging, is a long-standing tradition among the CHamoru people and has strong cultural significance, which is what first drew Jude to the practice. Slings were also used for hunting and combat. Mastering the art requires patience, discipline, and a strong appreciation for our island’s culture–– important qualities that all slingers must possess. For this reason, Jude makes it a priority to strengthen his ties with his culture by practicing his language, going fishing, and enjoying Guam’s natural beauty. Although Yokpotu has, regretfully, fallen out of practice, athletes like Jude and his teammates are making strides in bringing it back, showing that determination and heart are at the center of every successful journey.
You got: Kieran Keresoma- Strategy and Domination in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
“It’s something you can never be perfect at, and I think the human mind is conditioned to find perfection in whatever it is we try and do for ourselves. So being in that constant state of imperfection while trying to perfect is challenging but can definitely make one hungrier to keep learning.”
Kieran Keresoma has been dominating Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2014 and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Like Kieran, you like to challenge yourself on and off the mat, placing yourself in new situations that encourage you to grow and get better, even if it makes you uncomfortable at first. Like many martial arts and combat sports, Jiu Jitsu requires strategic thinking and efficiency. It requires confidence and adaptability, qualities both you and Kieran share. Size doesn’t matter. Even if you may be small in stature, your confidence is that of a lion. More than that, you both emphasize self-improvement in your daily lives. Getting dominated by another person on or off the mat? No problem. You don’t stay down; you get back up and do better. But it’s not just all work and no play. When Kieran is not working or practicing his skills, he makes it a priority to hang out with friends and spend an “ungodly amount of time” playing Halo 3 with his boys. After all, life is about balance.
You got: Grace Tacuyan-Witt- Balance and Positivity in Powerlifting
“I love [powerlifting] because it challenges me to focus on building strength and viewing my body for what it can do, versus what I'm supposed to look like.”
Grace Tacuyan-Witt, Vegasgrace, or the founder of 671 Barbell, Guam's first powerlifting team–– It doesn’t matter how you know her, all that matters is that you do. Grace has been lifting for 5 years and continues to improve each year. Though she may not be as young as her other competitors, she has more than proven her place in a competitive and male-dominated sport. Like her, you’re a powerhouse in and out of the gym. As a mother, a full-time worker, a coach, and a competitive athlete, balance is crucial in her daily routines, requiring her to adapt and adjust to her lifestyle. While balance is far from easy, you’re both committed to the challenge. More than that, health and fitness aren’t standardized routines for either of you. They’re lifestyles that require customization and confidence to carry them out effectively. As a coach, Grace encourages her athletes to work past the intimidation of a daunting sport. As any worthy athlete would, you both believe that the first steps towards success is eliminating fear and staying positive.
You got: Muñeka Joy Cruz Taisipic- Passion and Adaptability in Volleyball
“I believe that anyone who loves this sport and/or has the drive to learn and practice it will already be considered successful in it by default. You don’t need to be good to be successful!”
Not only did she represent Guam as Miss Universe in 2016, Muñeka Taisipic has also been a contributing member of Guam’s National Volleyball team and team captain of the University of Guam’s volleyball team. In other words, it doesn’t matter what environment you’re placed in, you’re both bound to shine. Like Muñeka, the love of the sport is what drives you to be better and what’s truly rewarding is knowing your hard work and patience is never in vain. Volleyball isn’t just a physical sport, it’s also mental and as athletes, you and Muñeka understand that the real game is in your head. Knowing how to beat doubt or discouragement is key to being a dominating presence on and off the court. In addition to satisfying your passions, fitness and health is a priority. But when you’re not on the court or at the gym, your friends and family are sure to find you both enjoying a relaxing nap at home. After all, any athlete knows the importance of refueling themselves for their next win.
You got: Austin Terlaje-- Leadership and Heart in Paddling
“Make it a point to, not only motivate but, encourage the heart. That’s what separates winning from losing – how much of your heart is put into what you do.”
If he’s not in his impeccable business attire, you’re sure to find Austin Terlaje in athletic gear, getting ready to hit the gym or practice with his paddling team, Animun Tasi. For both you and Austin, a steady career is important, but so is connecting to culture and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Paddling has always been an integral part of CHamoru culture as our island’s ancestors were adept sea-faring people. The cultural significance of this sport and tradition is what drew Austin to it in the first place. Finding a meaningful outlet to exercise your highly driven personalities is what keeps you both on top. But it’s not all about you! As athletes, you both understand the importance of teamwork and versatility, understanding not only your role in the game, but your teammate’s role as well. The mental game of sports is just as important as the physical aspects and this knowledge is not lost on you. Above all, heart and drive is crucial to your vision because if you want it bad enough, nothing can stand in your way.
You got: Elisha-Rose Jesus Benavente- Commitment and Pushing Past Your Limits in Soccer
“When I’m playing, I’m full committed to playing. I will push my limits to try to do my best and adapt to whatever situation my coaches or teammates ask of me...I will always push through whatever I think is holding me back, whether it be physical pain or mental frustration.”
When she’s not hanging out with friends, going to the gym, or catching up on her favorite shows, Elisha is winning back to back soccer championships with her fellow University of Guam Tritons. Like Elisha, you like to get aggressive and soccer is the perfect outlet. Your mental and physical ability to push past your limits is what makes both of you a force to be reckoned with on the field. Mastering body control and intelligence on the field are qualities you both strive for but while these are individual skill sets, you both recognize that you’re not the only players in the game. Elisha is a team player at heart. What she loves most about the soccer is the cohesion and chemistry it takes to execute a great play. Teamwork is at the center of success, and you agree. More than that, you both continually strive to be better players any chance you get, asking teammates and mentors what you can improve. As athletes, you both know that being better is a constant goal to strive towards, but it’s one you’ll never give up.
How often do you go to the gym or stay active?
After a long day at work, your friends invite you out to eat. What are you ordering?
You’re going hard at the gym or at practice and your teammates ask you to connect to the aux. What song are you playing first?
What’s your game plan when overcoming a challenge?
Favorite show or movie?
What’s your go-to mindset after losing a game?
You’re feeling a bit unmotivated today. Who do you go to for inspiration?
What do you spend the most money on?
What do you like to do on your free time?
What animal describes you best?
Bonus Question: Who Should take the Iron Throne?