Feb. 4, 2021 —
If you didn't snag a Super Bowl ticket this year, you can be there in spirit.
Seaman Valentina Di Zio will represent the Coast Guard this Sunday, performing as part of the Joint Service Color Guard's presentation of the nation's colors. (Di Zio will be making history - we believe she is the first female Coast Guard member to participate in the Super Bowl color guard.)
She'll then stand by during guitarist Brandon Niederauer's National Anthem and a 4-ship of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircrafts, and hopefully find a great spot to watch the game. Along the way, she'll try to send us some behind-the-scenes photos, which we'll add to this post.
SN Di Zio found time to talk with MyCG last night, so we could share in her once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Why did you request this assignment?
It was actually a surprise! Sadly, the person who was supposed to go couldn’t make it. So they chose someone who had all her quals, and her Honor Guard badge … to my knowledge, the Coast Guard hasn’t sent a female to any Super Bowl. My NCO decided I fit all the qualifications, but didn’t tell me! I got an email from an Army staff sergeant. At first I thought it was a scam. I was in my house with my roommates, and I asked them to double check. They said, “Yes, you are going!” I couldn’t stop smiling.
What are you most excited about?
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, to perform in this amazing event. It would be an honor to meet The Weeknd, they’re doing the half-time show. And Tampa is my hometown – when I moved from Venezuela I went to Tampa, where my family decided to create a future for us. I haven’t seen my dad in three years, but he is actually visiting right now, so I’ll be able to see him before he goes back to Veneuela. I just got an instant COVID test, so I’ll get to spend time with all my family, and get some sun – this snow is killing me.
Do you have a favorite Super Bowl snack?
Burgers – you can’t go wrong with a cheeseburger and some fries. You gotta Americanize it.
Who are your favorite football teams?
To be honest, I don’t really follow football. I had to ask a couple people who they think will win. And they’re all telling me these two teams are really good – my Chiefs friends and Buccaneers friends both think it could go either way. The Buccaneers are obviously from Tampa, so I’ll root for them.
What are you packing?
I’m bringing my travel gear and ceremonial uniform, plus the flags, the harness and streamers. And a change of clothes for after the job – hopefully we’ll be able to watch the Super Bowl.
Anything you’re nervous about?
These big performances, you’re always nervous about being able to perform the pride, poise and perfection that they teach us for the honor guard. Knowing there will be cameras around, people watching from everywhere in the world – it’s a little nerve wracking. But I think I’m ready and confident of doing a good job, to represent the Honor Guard and the Coast Guard to the best of my abilities.