“Today it’s my turn to stop”: Yulimar Rojas will miss the Olympic Games

The world and Olympic triple jump champion announced that she will not be able to participate in Paris 2024 after an injury to her left Achilles heel. The Venezuelan, the greatest exponent of the discipline, was champion in Tokyo 2020.

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Yulimar Rojas underwent surgery last thursday in Madrid, Spain.
Yulimar Rojas underwent surgery last thursday in Madrid, Spain.

“With a lot of pain and sadness I want to tell you that, while training, after receiving a jump, I had severe pain that resulted in an injury to my left Achilles tendon. My heart is broken too and I want to apologize for not being able to represent you in Paris 2024,” began the statement she shared on her social media.

If we think of undisputed figures, great competitors and charismatic characters within the Olympic movement, it’s impossible not to think of Yulimar Rojas. For those who have ever seen her compete, they know that with her there is a guaranteed show, an undisputed medal and inspiration beyond measure.

That’s why her absence from the next Olympic event represents a big blow to athletics, sports in general, Venezuela and Olympic fans. And that blow occurred, perhaps, with one of the worst injuries an athlete can suffer: the Achilles heel.

To put things in context, in Rojas we find a seven-time world champion, a brand-new Olympic champion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and a record woman. In other words, she comes from being world champion in 2023, a title also won in the Eugene 2022 World Championship, Doha 2019 and London 2017. She was also enshrined in the 2022 World Indoor Championship in Belgrade, with a world record of 15.74m included, Birmingham 2018 and Portland 2016.

All this without forgetting, of course, the Olympic title won at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, her highest award. The reality is that the one born in Caracas, Venezuela 28 years ago won all the international competitions in which she participated since 2016, with the exception of one: the Rio 2016 Games. Anyway, let’s not be fooled... the “defeat” in Rio was actually getting the silver medal. So it could be said that the spectacular thing about this figure is that she hasn’t been off the podium for almost 10 years. A record that few athletes can hold.

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“Today I feel very emotionally affected by not being able to represent you, the desire to defend my Olympic title excited me tremendously, but today I have to stop, understand this, recover and return with great strength to continue flying together,” continues her statement.

It remains to wait for her return. The next steps will be to focus on her recovery, she underwent successful surgery last Thursday in Madrid, Spain, gradually resuming training and preparing for the return to competition.

Perhaps there is still a lot of momentum left in her and she will return to the stadium where she became Olympic champion for the next World Athletics Championship to be held in Tokyo in 2025. For now, if it’s about Olympism, we’ll have to wait until Los Angeles 2028 to witness a new show by the great Yulimar.