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Soraya Jimenez (August 5, 1977 – March 28, 2013)

Soraya Jimenez (one of a pair of twin sisters) was a Mexican gold medal winning Olympic weightlifter. Always very athletic, as a child she played basketball, badminton and swimming. Jimenez began weightlifting before her teenage years. Her first major podium finish came at the 1994 NORCECA Cup in Colorado Springs. After achieving her first major win at the Simon Bolivar International in Venezuela, her first appearance at the World Championships came in 1996. In 1998, she won in her weight class at the Guatemala Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Games. In 1999 she won the Thessaloniki Cup, the Winnipeg Invitational, the Simon Bolivar International, the Mexican Olympic Festival and won a silver medal at the Pan American Games and placed eighth at the World Championships. Jimenez participated for Mexico in the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she won a gold medal. She was the first Mexican female athlete to ever win an Olympic medal. After the win, Jimenez retired from competition. In March 2013, she suffered a fatal heart attack at her home in Mexico City and died at only age 35.

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