Mexican Swimmer Vaca Recognized for Her 40-Year Career

Laura Vaca Hernandez is being recognized for her acclaimed international swimming career, which spans more than four decades.

The 59-year-old Mexican swimmer has been awarded the Jean Borotra World Fair Play trophy from the International Fair Play Committee in recognition of her more than 40-year career.

Laura Vaca Hernandez

Vaca, who competed in the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Olympics, is the first Mexican woman to win the honor.

She shares the award, named for the French tennis great, with German table tennis player Walter Kilger.

Vaca was a world masters champion and broke two world records, one in the 400 meters in 2008 and the other as part of a relay team that crossed the English Channel in August 2007.

But Vaca wasn’t the only Hispanic athlete to be touted during the special ceremony, which was held outside of Budapest.

Venezuelan fencer Antonio J. Leal Pina was awarded an Act of Fair Play diploma, Argentinian climbers Damien Benegas, Guillermo Benegas and Matias Erroz received an Act of Fair Play letter of congratulations and Argentinian boxer received an Act of Fair Play letter of congratulations.

The mission of the Paris-based International Fair Play Committee, which was founded by UNESCO in 1963, is to promote fair play around the world.