LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – Mosley wrestler Valarie Solorio is setting herself up to compete for the Mexican World’s Team in the honor of her late mother.

Solorio qualified in March for the Mexico World Team by winning a national tournament in Oaxtapex, Mexico, and she said this was an opportunity that she never expected would be possible.

“I never thought that, ‘Hey did you know next year that you were going to compete in Mexico, try and compete in the Pan American Games?’ It’s not like a thought that I had,” Solorio said.

For the 16-year-old wrestler, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and also a last-minute decision to go.

“We decided Friday, we bought my ticket Sunday, and I was in Mexico on Wednesday and I competed that Saturday,” Solorio said. “It was like really really sudden, really really rapid.”

Although her grandparents live in Mexico, Solorio had never wrestled outside of the United States, so the experience of the trip alone was a win-win.

“If I were to win the U.S. team trials then I would have to wrestle these girls anyway, it doesn’t matter that I don’t know them,” Solorio said. “And I was just thinking to myself, at one point, I want to be on a world level to where I can wrestle anyone in any county and be fine. So I guess now is as good a time as any.”

Solorio’s dual citizenship to Mexico comes from her mother who was born in the country but passed away when Valarie was just 5-years-old. The ability to represent her Mexico is something that is priceless to her.

“I knew that the opportunity to do it and it was just more of honoring my mom’s memory,” Solorio said. “It’s something that I never thought I would be able to do, so as soon as I knew it was possible I was like you know what, I’d really like to do that. So, I felt like a part of her was with my wrestling and if I get to represent Mexico then it will be like she’s there with me all over again.”

Solorio might have to compete in one more match to officially qualify for the Pan American Games, but that match will be against a wrestler she had already beaten in under a minute.

Looking forward, Solorio is just thankful for all the opportunities that wrestling has brought her.

“One of my biggest dreams has been to travel the world since I can remember, and I love that by wrestling I get to do that,” Solorio said. “As long as I train and do what I need to do, I get to wrestler, represent wherever I want to represent at the time, and travel and see the world and meet new people.”

Solorio will compete in the U.S. team trials in May, but even if she makes the team, she plans to compete for Mexico in the Pan American Games in June.