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International TAMIU student athletes stay in Laredo during holidays

Health officials continue to recommend families to not gather this holiday season, but for those who have family thousands of miles away many have chosen to not go home.
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 8:31 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Health officials continue to recommend families to not gather this holiday season, but for those who have family thousands of miles away many have chosen to not go home.

Being a college student is hard enough- juggling classes and sports, especially a sport that you love.

Competing at the college level usually means you are away from friends and family.

Now that the holidays are coming up some athletes usually go home after finals to be with their loved ones before the next semester, but this year that isn’t happening.

Gabriel Gacovicaj is from Italy and just 4 months ago he moved to Laredo to play soccer for TAMIU.

He says the transition hasn’t been easy, especially his first month.

“I didn’t know the language very well so it was difficult speaking with people. For the first month it wasn’t such a beautiful thing but right now I am enjoying it.”

Although he’s glad to have the support of his team, he’s missing his friends and family back in Italy.

He had plans to go back home for the holidays before soccer season kicks off but he can’t because of the pandemic.

However, he says it’s okay and he will make the most of his time here in the states.

“I miss my family but I am just going to take the opportunity to travel a little bit.”

He also says it is a good time to focus on his education and perfecting his soccer skills.

Gabriel just wants his family to know he is doing okay.

“Keep calm I am coming back and i’m safe, don’t be scared.”

Gabriel told KGNS that he plans to hopefully see his family this summer if everything is safe to do so.

The Dustdevils soccer season is scheduled to start up in Feburary and that things are looking good for the season.

Sixteen out of twenty-nine TAMIU international student athletes won’t be going home for the holidays.

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