Ecuador’s First Female Olympic Gold-Medalist: Neisi Barrera Dajomes’ Empowering Journey

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Neisi Barrera Dajomes

Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision.

– Muhammad Ali

23-year-old Neisi Barrera Dajomes is an Ecuadorian weightlifting champion. She was introduced to weightlifting by her brother Javier and encouraged to pursue the sport by his coaches. She began training from the age of 11 and by 2015, had entered her first international competition.

Neisi at the Tokyo Olympics

Competitive Career

In 2015, at the age of 16, Barrera Dajomes competed in the Pan American Games in the 69kg category, winning a silver medal. In 2016 she won gold at the Junior World Championships and competed in the Rio Olympics; however, she did not win a medal. Unfazed by this defeat, she went on to win a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships and dominated the Pan American Championships the same year. In 2018, in the 75-76kg category, she won bronze in the World Championships and became a two-time Pan American competition champion. She also won her third consecutive Junior World Championships. In 2019, she won both – the Pan American Championships and the Pan American Games, cruising into the Ecuadorian Olympic Team for the 2020 Summer Olympics, according to Wikipedia

Overcoming body image issues

When the 11-year-old Nesi decided to pursue weightlifting, she was pulled down by people who said her physique would change and she’d “start looking like a man.” Such comments made her quit early on but her coaches were quick to encourage her, says IOC

“I’ve been lifting for 12 years and I’ve always tried to get myself noticed this way….having my nails painted or having different socks or different-coloured shoes. Just because I’m a weightlifting woman doesn’t mean that I have to not look like a woman, not present myself as a woman or cannot place myself this way.”, she said in an interview with The Association of National Olympic Committees. Her dedication and perseverance in breaking gender stereotypes and carving her own path in a “typically male” sport is extremely significant for a new generation of female athletes. 

Training for the Olympics

From personal tragedy to historic Olympic victory

2 months before the Tokyo Olympics, Barrera Dajomes’ mother sadly passed away due to illness. She channeled her grief into her preparation, determined to use her late mother’s love and support to fulfill her lifelong dream. 

At the young age of 23, Neisi Barrera Dajomes won gold in the women’s 76kg category weightlifting event and became the first female athlete from Ecuador to win an Olympic gold medal. A woman of brilliant skill, dedication, and resilience, Neisi is a symbol of women empowerment and physical and mental strength that will inspire aspiring athletes around the world. 

Neisi’s reaction to winning gold

#GCPWishesNeisiBarreraDajomes #GCPAWishesOlympians

Team Global Child Prodigy Congratulates Neisi Barrera Dajomes for winning Gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This will inspire millions of people worldwide, including children who aspire to be like her. 

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