Athlete Feature – Ubaldina Valoyes

Coach Ivan just came back from Colombia where he continued his study of the highly sucessful Colombian system. In recent years, Colombia has risen to be one of the top weightlifting countries in PAN America as well as in the world.

Ivan worked with World medalist Ubaldina Valoyes (pictured with Ivan) at the Bogota high perfomance training center, Salitre. Below is a factual profile on Ubaldina.

Ubaldina’s Stats:         
Highest placement at JR worlds: 3rd

Highest placement at Sr Wrolds: 5th
Highest placement at Pan AM Ganes: 1st
Highest placing at the Olympics: 7th

Best competition snatch: 112kg
Best competition Clean and jerk: 138

Best training snatch: 115 kg
Best Training clean and jerk:145 kg

Best back squat: 180 kg
Best front squat: 155 kg

Ubaldina was discovered by a Cuban coach in Colombia while she was a shot put thrower. After seeing her throw, he told her she had better physical conditions for being a weightlifter than a thrower. Specifically, although she was a good thrower, she was not tall enough to be Olympic level. Culturally, this is interesting- rather than tell her to quit throwing because she was too short, he recommended that she switch to weightlifting. He saw that she still had great explosiveness and athletic talent and could use her height to her advantage in weightlifting.

Aside -This is very similar to Olympic Champion Maria Urrutia’s story. She was also a thrower from Colombia who switched to weightlifting. She later won the 2000 Olympic Games. Maria Urrutia is now a member of the Colombian congress.

Ubaldina admires the Chinese lifters. She has friendly competition with Damaris Aguirre from Mexico. She is great friends with weightlifters Cinthya Dominguez from Mexico and Hernandez from Cuba.

Ubaldina has been fitted for weightlifting shoes, and will proudly be wearing the Risto weightlifting shoes in this year’s international competitions.

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