The Sun Bowl Association and FirstLight Federal Credit Union announced on Tuesday that WWE Superstar Sin Cara will be the Grand Marshal for the 82nd Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade.
“With the theme of our parade being ‘Amazing Feats’ we figured we needed to choose someone who has accomplished something big and amazing,” said Bernie Olivas, Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association. “How much more amazing does it get than making it to one of the biggest stages in the world, the WWE? To have someone from El Paso who is so successful and inspirational as our Grand Marshal is amazing in itself.”
Sin Cara was born on September 5, 1977 in El Paso. Growing up in El Segundo Barrio, he began wrestling at Burges High School where he was an accomplished state champion multiple times. He went undefeated during his senior year and was nominated to be “Athlete of the Year” in El Paso.
Sin Cara has forged a strong international following and has become very popular for his masks as well as for his high-flying wrestling style. He made his WWE debut on August 12, 2011.
“When I finally made it to the WWE, I knew I accomplished something amazing and all the hard work paid off,” Sin Cara said.
Growing up in a tough neighborhood, Sin Cara knew he needed to do everything he could to reach his dream. While working towards his goal of becoming a professional wrestler in the early 2000s, under the ring name “Mistico”, Sin Cara worked in his grandfather’s funeral home in Juarez, Mexico and gained a degree in embalming and funeral director services in Mexico.
Watching Luchadores as a child, Sin Cara knew exactly which direction he wanted to go.
Luchadores are traditionally more agile and perform more aerial maneuvers than professional wrestlers in the United States, who more often rely on power and hard strikes to subdue their opponents.
The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that Luchadores in the cruiserweight division (peso semicompleto) are often the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre.
Luchadores execute characteristic high-flying attacks by using the wrestling ring’s ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, and applying complex submission holds. Aerial maneuvers are almost always performed to opponents outside the ring, allowing the luchador to break his fall with an acrobatic tumble.
In WWE, the soaring Superstar birthed a new legacy, wowing viewers around the world with spectacular displays of agility and airborne attacks as well as joining forces with Kalisto to form the championship-winning tandem of The Lucha Dragons.
Watching Sin Cara take to the air to send Superstars spinning, whirling and scrambling for recovery is more than just observing a world-traveled competitor in his natural element; it’s to witness the impossible.
The 82nd Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade is scheduled for Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 22, 2018 with a start-time of 10 a.m. (MT).
The parade runs down Montana Ave from Ochoa Street and ends at Copia Street.
Back in 1935, the El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the parade and it was held on New Year’s Day from 1936 until 1978, when the event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day.
The holiday pageant is planned, coordinated and produced by volunteer efforts and draws tens of thousands of spectators. The Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the west Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area, it brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.
Crockett Elementary School got a little taste of the glory Thursday morning when WWE wrestler Sin Cara stopped by the school to share some knowledge with the students.
Although the wrestler didn’t show them how to master the perfect springboard moonsault, they learned something more important than wrestling moves: the message that bullying other kids is just not ok.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities. In the Segundo Barrio it was difficult. I wanted to talk to them and let them know that no matter your circumstances you can overcome,” he said. “I usually don’t get to do a lot in my community because I travel so much, but it’s very important for me to give back to where I came from.”
Crockett family intervention specialist Adriana Peña knew Sin Cara since they were elementary students, inviting him to come and talk to the students. Because of his masked persona, EPISD will not reveal the real name of the wrestler.
“It’s a great blessing that he can take the time out of his busy schedule to come visit us,” she said. “He really identified with the kids about what some of them go through during their school-age years. I hope the meeting him teaches the students they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”
Sin Cara, who is an Burges High School graduate, shared his own struggles with bullying in elementary.
“I faced some tough situations, but I was fortunate that my parents backed me up,” he said. “My dad taught me I had to stand up for myself. You have the power to control how it affects you. If you are being bullied, you need to tell an adult. You have to communicate because you are not alone.”
The wrestler encouraged students to not just be bystanders when they see someone else getting bullied.
“If you see someone else getting bullied, you need to say something,” he told them. “You have to support each other.”
Third-grade student Yamil Zamora was one of the lucky students to receive a t-shirt from the wrestler for answering a question about bullying.
“When he gave me the shirt, I was super excited. and I was like ‘oh my god,’” he said. “I thought the message he shared was pretty good because he was telling us not to be a bully. I like Sin Cara. He’s my favorite. I was super excited he came here. I am super-duper excited.”
Fourth-grader George Huitron counted down the days until the wrestler came to school.
“All of us were very excited,” he said. He gave us an important message about bullying. He told us we should be kind to others.”
Sin Cara hopes the students walk away feeling supported.
“The biggest impact in my life was the people who helped me and believed in me,” he said.
“It takes a long time and a lot of struggling. I’ve been through a lot of things in my life, but I wouldn’t change anything because that has made me who I am as a person. I can show them no matter what dream they have, whether they want to become a lawyer or a doctor or teacher, if you have faith in yourself you can make it happen.”
Story and photos by Alicia Chumley – Video by Raymond Jackson/EPISD