Lia Salvo Is On The Pursuit Of Polo Greatness

lia salvo

For many people, thinking about the next phase of their lives happens right at the cusp of high school graduation. For most, the journey to adulthood begins here, with questions of college courses and career trajectories dominating our minds. For one girl, the idea of doing anything that she wasn’t passionate about for the next four years was a step in the wrong direction.

lia salvo

Lia Salvo knew that she loved being with her dad on their farm, particularly in the stables tending to their horses. She used to just play around with the horses, learning to ride at the age of four when most of us are still trying to learn how to run twenty meters without tripping on our own two feet. She started polo, or at least a version of it, at around nine years old, just riding around and stick and balling for fun. After high school, she finally decided to embrace her passion fulltime and aim to be a 10-goal handicap, a level that has been reached by very few individuals. In short, she strived for greatness.

While she’s been playing competitively at her level for several years, Lia knew that she needed better training and mentors to get her to where she wanted to be competitively.

lia salvo

Her father, Hector Salvo, started her training when she was a child even though he wasn’t 100% into the idea. As Lia would realize in later years, she would have to prove herself and the first person she needed to win over is her father. “Dad wasn’t very supportive; he’s a little discouraging because I was a girl. But when he realized that I could do it as well, then he became very supportive,” she says of his father in her early years in the sport.

The elder Salvo, who himself had a 9-goal handicap, quickly realized that his daughter wasn’t just playing around with ponies and mallets anymore. Soon, he discovered that his little girl had worldclass skills and the passion to compete in the sport.

lia salvo

Lia continued to improve in both local and international tournaments as she sought superior coaching and competition. In Thailand, she came under the tutelage of Rege Ludwig, who is instrumental in polishing her technique, particularly in hitting. As with all the great players, she believes that there is still much to improve on, even as she nears the pinnacle of competitive polo.

An aspect of the sport that Lia had in spades from the very beginning is her ability to survey the field and the game as it unfolds. While her talent and skill are at par with many of her contemporaries, one could argue that her field vision sets her apart and elevates her to another level. Lia also isn’t afraid of falling off her horse or skirmishing with bigger, heavier, stronger players—she just welcomes the challenge. Her love for what she is doing compensates for whatever difficulties she encounters and pushes her to find ways to improve her game.

All the training she invested came together last December 2019 when her team won the Argentine Women’s Open, and she was named the tournament’s MVP.

lia salvo

“I think, personally, winning the Argentine Women’s Open last year was a highlight of my career,” she gushes as she recalled her career- propelling tournament win.

A few days later, the Argentine Polo Association (APA) released the handicap changes after completing the 2019 season and declared Lia Salvo as a 10-goal player. More recently, the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) in England has also announced Lia’s handicap change from 8 goals to 9 goals.

Galloping to greatness is a challenging task, but not if you’re like Lia Salvo, who is always determined to work hard to achieve her big goals.

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