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Óscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera , ODB (Zaragoza, Colombia, March 27, 1983), is a former Colombian weightlifter who competed in the 62 kilogram category. olympic silver of the Olympic Games of London 2012, gold medalist of the Pan American Games of Guadalajara 2011 and the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro 2016. He is part of the 6 Colombians holding two Olympic medals with Caterine Ibarguen in triple jump , the cyclist Mariana Pajón, the fighter Jackeline Rentería, the judo player Yury Alvear, and the shooter Helmut Bellingrodt.
Figueroa is the thirteenth Olympic medalist in Colombian history, the fourth to win a silver medal and the third to win a gold medal. He is also the fourth Colombian weightlifter to win a medal in the Olympic Games and the only one to achieve an Olympic record, he is the first Colombian weightlifter to be world youth champion, and the only one to be a medalist in a youth and senior world championship. , he did it in 2001 and 2006, respectively.
Figueroa was born in Zaragoza, Antioquia. Son of Ermelinda Mosquera and Jorge Isaac Figueroa, he is the second of four brothers of a family of mining tradition and fishermen. His family, originally from Tadó in Chocó, settled in Zaragoza. He studied at the local school of the municipality, until the violent acts that occurred in the region due to clashes between paramilitaries and the guerrillas, coupled with the lack of job opportunities, motivated his parents to settle outside of the latter when Figueroa was 9. His family came to the municipality of Cartago in Valle del Cauca, to live together with relatives until they rented a ranch.
Once established his family, Figueroa began with the practice of several sports, including football, basketball, karate and weightlifting, but it is in the latter where he showed skills, since he even raised almost double of his body weight in training. The weightlifter did not engage in regular practice until the time his physical education teacher advised him given his build and strength. As a boy he was not very interested in the studio, which is why he decided to dedicate more time to sports, and began to train for hours in the morning and in the afternoon.
After winning a local championship, the coach of the Valle de Cauca League, Jaiber Manjarrez suggested him to move with him to Cali to continue his training in a better way. Upon his arrival in the city, Figueroa He lived in a tenancy which was paid by his trainer, as were the daily meals. Shortly after the start of his training, the weightlifter began to win in the departmental championships, which earned him the entrance to the high performance program of the Sports and Recreation Institute of Valle del Cauca, which led him to stay at the “Deportel” house along with the other athletes supported by the program. In 2000 he qualified for his first youth world championship in Prague where he finished fifth. Parallel to his training, he worked to help with the duties of his family in Cartago. The following year he was world youth champion in Greece, tournament in which he won the gold in the start, clean and total. Because of this, Coldeportes received a prize money that he then invested in the purchase of a home for his family.
In 2004, due to an injury to his knee, he was separated from the weightlifting group of the national team, so he decided to enlist in military service, which he had to meet in Palmira. During his time there considered military, however he did not abandon the sport and had the authorization of his superiors to continue training. Finally, he spent more time in the gyms than in the barracks, and ended up representing the armed forces in national sports competitions with the aim of reaching the Olympic Games in Athens, after fulfilling military service in 2006 He returned to Cali to represent the Valle del Cauca again in national competitions, as well as starting studies in Business Administration at the Santiago de Cali University, which he alternates with his sports career.
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