April 23, 2007
What can't Pablo Solares do? The Rice senior middle-distance runner excels in so many things, it's hard to keep track of them all. Already one of the best milers in school history, Solares has his sights set on making it to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics for his native Mexico, but his long-term goals are even more lofty.
When Solares and his family first came to the United States, they sought the education that wasn't available in Mexico. "My parents always had a strong focus on school," Solares said. "My parents have been always very supportive of my brothers and I in whatever we want to do. I feel that support from my family is the best thing and most important attribute that I have."
One of Mexico's top tennis players as a teenager (his brother plays for SMU), Solares was initially excited about being in the NBA when he first came to the U.S. At 6-4, basketball was a natural activity for Solares in Mexico, where his father was also a talented player as a youngster. That hoops dream took a back seat to his tennis and running, though, and Solares eventually also gave up the racket during his senior year at Richardson High School to concentrate on his track career. Until his parents convinced him that the risk of injury was too high, Solares was also a budding mountain biker.
"Tennis was a big thing in my family, my brothers and I used to spend all of our time playing and competing at tournaments," Solares said. "I hope I can catch up once again when I stop running competitively."
Outside the world of sports, Solares has yet another talent. "I started painting my senior year in high school," he said "And I am not planning on stopping any time soon. I have completed over 100 oil paintings over the past five years, and if you ask me how successful I am as an artist, I would probably say that I don't really know, but I like what I am doing so that works for me."
With graduation on the horizon, and a Rice degree with majors in economics, managerial studies and visual arts soon to be in hand, Solares has long-term plans on an even grander scale. "I would like to start my own company since I don't see myself working 100 hours a week," Solares said. "After that, I would really like to get into politics in Mexico. I feel that there are many things that could be changed to improve the quality of life in my country, thus I feel the obligation to do my best to make it happen."
Given his Midas-like touch in all the activities he has tried so far, there is little doubt that Pablo Solares is poised to become one of Tomorrow's Leaders.