Survey ranks New Mexico as second most unathletic state in country

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —, a gambling website released data on the most athletic states in the U.S. with New Mexico coming in at 49th just ahead of West Virginia. 

The NBA, WNBA, NHL, and NFL were the sports leagues that were used to determine which states were athletic or not by seeing what athletes in these leagues resided in New Mexico growing up. 

When determining their NFL data, only counted first-string players, excluding a few New Mexico natives who currently play in the league, like Steelers tight end, Zach Gentry.  

“This definitely could be expanded to include more sports to see where other places are so it’s not to say New Mexico is off the list altogether,”Gretchen Andsager, the spokesperson said. “But just within this current realm it’s definitely not as represented in comparison to other states.” 

While New Mexico lacks representation in those specific sports, it isn’t lacking in MMA and other types of sports. The general manager of Holly Homes’ current gym thought differently about the data. 

“Well, I’ll challenge anyone on that issue. Some of the best athletes and fighters come from Albuquerque New Mexico,” Michael Lyubimov, the Jackson Wink MMA Academy general manager said.  

“This is one of the oldest training camps in the history of the sport. It [has] produced so many world champions and so many different martial arts. So to say that martial artists is unathletic is kinda like the dumbest thing to say,” Lyubimov said. 

While New Mexico may not have produced many professional athletes in those specific sports of the dataset, the state is still a very sought training location for many professional athletes — just in other sports. 

“We have some of the highest elevation here, right, so people come in for high altitude training. They push themselves right to the limit here in New Mexico and then also a lot of the runners come through New Mexico, cyclists come through New Mexico to train; a lot of the locally bred talent,” Lyubimov said.