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Gold medalist inspires Antioquia region

Article - August 16, 2013
The story of athlete Catherine Ibargüen Mena is an inspiration to the Antioquia region as she overcame the poverty and violence that has marked her hometown. Like many other athletes around the world she comes from a poor background and sport fueled her hope for a better future.
CATERINE IBARGÜEN MENA WON THE GOLD MEDAL IN THE TRIPLE JUMP AT THE 2013 WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS IN MOSCOW
During the governors’ summit in Medellín, which was held under the theme “Preparing Ourselves for Peace”, Colombian athlete Caterine Ibargüen Mena took first place in the triple jump at this year’s World Athletics Championships in Moscow. Having won the bronze medal two years ago at the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, and taken silver at last year's Olympic games in London, Ms Mena won the country’s first gold medal in the World Athletics Championships on August 15 2013. 
 
During the 80s and 90s, her home town of Apartadó, Antioquia, was marked by violence and this led the athlete to spend much of her childhood with her grandmother Ayola Rivas. According to her grandmother, this sparked the breakup of her parents William and Francisca, who went to work in Venezuela and to work in family homes respectively. Although food was scarce and there was not much money for her to attend school, she managed to receive schooling at the Colegio San Francisco de Asís, in Apartadó.
 
Wílder Zapata discovered Ms Mena during an interschool championship and had her compete in the 75 and 150-meter sprint. At the age of 14, she went to Medellín, where Cuban coach Regla Sandrino convinced her to practice high, long and triple jumps. Ms Mena now lives in Puerto Rico, where in addition to training with coach Ubaldo Duany she studies nursing at the Metropolitan University. 
 
During the governors’ summit she received a great deal of applause by those attending, as she brought the event to a halt. One of those most excited by her victory was former President Belisario Betancourt, who was particularly moved by the victory and sparked a standing ovation. 

  3 COMMENTS



Sergio Mejía
20/08/2013  |  16:25
100% of 1

Enhorabuena Catherine! Eres la mejor embajadora de Colombia :)

Kathleen J. Snow
03/09/2013  |  13:47
100% of 1

She's a queen!! Love her

Edilio Milanesi
16/09/2013  |  4:13
100% of 1

Una donna meravigliosa. Peccato che l'Italia ha discriminato il nostro primo ministro nero.