MeYurimar Rojas, a country whose economy collapsed many years ago, was born in a house with a broken roof. From the hole in its roof, the future Venezuelan triple jumper could see the sky, and perhaps since then she has become accustomed to looking for new heights.
As a kid, she changed her life with the courage to send a message to Cuban high jump legend Ivan Pedroso for help. Today, she is a star herself and is known for her social media-talked-about dance, beauty pageant judges, and the voice of the LGBTQ community.
She is also busy breaking the triple jump world record and aims to break it again in the world championships where her biggest rival is herself and the tape measure in the finals on Monday.
“I already said that before, I don’t like to put limits on myself as an athlete,” the 26-year-old said in an interview earlier this summer. “I have a very high ceiling. That’s what my heart and heart want.”
Born in the small town of Pozueros on the Caribbean Sea, Rojas once wanted to play volleyball, but after discovering the triple jump, the focus shifted.
She wrote to Pedroso on Facebook and asked for guidance. Long jump champion Pedroso, with four outdoor and five indoor world titles and an Olympic gold medal in his name, soon agreed. By that time, he was a resident of Spain, and apart from the political and economic problems that plagued Venezuela, Rojas had opened the door for her talent to hone in the country.
Rojas has never expressed her position on Venezuelan politics. Instead, she used her own platform to speak up for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
“I feel sympathetic to this whole issue,” she said. “I have had a very good relationship with someone who is very important to me. In my country, the time will come when the relationships of people of the same sex will be more respected.”
Regarding the triple jump, it seems that only injuries remain between Lohas, who set the world record at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, and his third straight victory.
On June 18, she missed what would be her last tournament in front of the world. A slight tension in her left foot put her aside her during her meeting in Spain. But in Saturday’s qualifying, she stood far in front of the field and played the final with a 48-foot-3-inch leap. This was 6 inches ahead of the next best finisher.
In Tokyo last year, Rojas jumped 51 feet 5 inches, crushing the 26-year-old record held by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets by 17 centimeters. She became Rojas the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in Venezuela. It was a beautiful night, except that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented fans from witnessing the stand.
Earlier this year, she improved her record by three inches. Her next goal is 52 feet, 6 inches, and even 16 meters. She thinks it is possible.
“I was born to jump that distance,” she said. “This is the most motivating thing for me. There is nothing impossible, that is my motto.” Luis Ruiz, Eugene, MDT / AP