NC State's Tatyana Forbes Balances NCAA Season, Olympics Prep
Tatyana Forbes should’ve been practicing with NC State the week of opening day and gearing up for the start of her super senior season. Instead, she was on a plane to Dallas, as a part of Mexico’s women’s national team to face off against Team USA.
Though the game was ultimately canceled due to inclement weather, balancing college ball and prepping for the Olympics is nothing out of the ordinary for Forbes.
“I am lucky to have such flexible and understanding coaches on both ends,” Forbes said. “My Mexico coaching staff is also understanding that until our college season comes to an end, I will be focusing on winning games with NC State, which will also help me train for the Olympics in July.”
Although a resident of Redmond, Wash., Forbes qualifies to play with Team Mexico since her mother, Marie, is from the city of Mazatlan. Growing up, Forbes' dream was always to be an accomplished athlete, but she never imagined Team Mexico would appear in the Olympics for softball.
“I am so grateful that I get to be a part of Mexico’s first softball Olympic appearance, especially just because about five years ago, if you were to ask anyone if they thought we would make it to the Olympics, we would have gotten a lot of unsure answers,” Forbes said.
For Forbes, representing her family makes this opportunity that much more rewarding. It's about more than just playing in the Olympics and more than just the game of softball.
“I feel very honored to play for Mexico and I know I make my mom and my other family born in Mexico very proud,” Forbes said. “I can honestly say when I joined the team, it was never about playing on the team (just for) the Olympics. It was (about) a lot more than just that—playing for the country of Mexico and our families. This is definitely what makes our team so unique and special. Obviously now that we have qualified, it is an absolute dream and I feel that we deserve it more than I could ever explain.”
Before COVID-19 canceled her 2020 season with NC State, Forbes held the most hits in Division I softball with 43, while also ranking fifth in batting average (.538). She believes her experience playing with the Wolfpack and Team Mexico set her up for those achievements, and she only hopes to repeat her successes this year.
“It was one of my biggest accomplishments and goals last year to lead the NCAA in hits as well as batting average,” Forbes said. “I feel more prepared than ever to continue this and to help my team in any way possible to win a national championship.”
Forbes' goals for the 2021 season wouldn't be possible without the overwhelming support she's received from the NC State coaching staff, which has allowed her to come back and finish off her senior year. She split her first three college softball seasons between Coastal Carolina and Florida International and headed to NC State in 2020, which she believes may have been one of her best decisions yet.
“I am just taking advantage of the opportunity and couldn’t be more excited,” Forbes said. “I am so grateful that I also get to finish my master's degree, and couldn’t be more thankful that NC State and the coaching staff gave me another year to finish my college experience on a strong note.”