From Colombia to cheer: how David Silva found His calling on a whirlwind journey to Lipscomb

From Colombia to cheer: how David Silva found His calling on a whirlwind journey to Lipscomb

Fifteen years ago in a churchyard in southern Bogotá, an energetic, dark-haired little boy kicked around a soccer ball as the youth minister droned on during his Sunday lessons. The minister’s pleas for him to stay still were in vain—this boy’s heart was taken by soccer. In some ways, the young man so many at Lipscomb have come to know is reminiscent of that boy, but there is a light in his eyes that says something changed. To say that junior Colombia native David Silva has stories to tell would be an understatement. The key to understanding Silva is his love for the game of soccer. For him, this game is woven into who he is. “The ball was my best friend, like Wilson in that Tom Hanks movie. It’s funny because that’s my name too!” Growing up on the southern side of Bogotá brought its own challenges. Although soccer runs in the veins of Colombian culture, not everyone in his neighborhood owned a soccer ball. Sometimes, a plastic water bottle was the next best thing. Silva played constantly, with whatever bottle or ball was around, and he got really good. By the time he was 13 years old, Silva had caught the eye of the academy team of 15-time Colombian champions Millonarios FC. They trained on the north side of Bogotá, so he traveled four hours round-trip every day on a bus to train in the afternoons. He woke up each day at 5 a.m., attended school, stood on the bus for a couple of hours, trained, took the bus home, and returned at 8 or 9 p.m. to his homework and family. Silva kept up this grueling schedule for two...