On January 3, 2003, Natalia Linares González was born at the Valledupar clinic.. The delivery was normal and from that day on, Yanelis Patricia, her mother, knew that life would bring good things to her daughter.
Today, 19 years later, she does not hesitate to assure that it was a blessing for her to bring Natalia into the world, the silver medalist in the long jump of the U-20 World Athletics Championships in Cali.
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Yanelis played dad and mom, because Natalia did not grow up next to Eder, her dad. She has a brother, José David, 22, who has shared his life with the two women of the house.
A start at home
Since she was a child, Natalia was characterized by being a restless, hyperactive person, that she ran all the time, that she didn’t stay still, she was stung by a chair, the bed, the sofa in the living room.
In her grandmother’s house there was a large patio and Natalia adapted it as an athletics track, where she developed all her motor skills.
She was a good student and helped her classmates. On some occasion the teachers complained because they reached an agreement with her, For each gold medal that Natalia won, they were forced to give the rest of the room a point, something that did not happen twice.
Fabián Martínez was the physical education teacher at the North Gymnasium school in Valledupar. He picked up the phone and called Yanelis, who, surprised by the call, attended the meeting. Natalia didn’t get into trouble, on the contrary, she was very friendly, a collaborator, that’s why her mother was nervous about the date, it was impossible that she had misbehaved.
Natalia was 10 years old, but the conversation flowed. Martínez recommended to Yanelis that the girl’s talent was immense and that she had to be polished. The teacher said that Natalia did five times as much as the other children and He predicted at that time that she could become the successor of Caterine Ibargüen in the jumps.
Sure, Yanelis was shocked, she couldn’t believe it, but she followed the advice. She, economist, worker in the public sector in the Valledupar mayor’s office, Government of Cesar and in the Ministry of Health I knew that the effort had to be made.
The two went to the Athletics League of Cesar for some tests. The stadium track was dirt and Natalia passed the exam with no problems. In those days there was a children’s tournament in Bucaramanga and she was selected and won three golds.
The welcome and affection that Yanelis took for athletics was so great that she was named president of the league of that sport and that helped her to take her daughter by the hand to the Supérate Games, when she was national and South American school champion.
next to his idol
Precisely, in that South American tournament there was Álex Díaz, Ibargüen’s husband, who spoke with Yanelis and gave him the contact of Ubaldo Duany, at that time Caterine’s coach, who is Natalia’s idol.
In 2017 they met. Natalia and Caterine Ibargüen shared training for several days in Puerto Rico and Natalia had fulfilled her dream of meeting the athlete who represented her the most. The family’s resources only lasted two months, so she had to return to Colombia.
The Linares results cried out for a change of venue. Valledupar was not the right place for her to continue progressing, which is why Yanelis took her to Cartagena, days before the National Games, but she was able to train on the official track.
In Cali, coach Martin Suarez, He talks with Yanelis and tells her that he could take care of Natalia, who went to live in Santa Marta in 2019. As a mother it was difficult to make that decision, but her daughter’s future forced her to sell the car, quit her job and leave Valledupar.
Yanelis got a job in the capital of Magdalena and was able to follow her daughter closely, but the pandemic came and the plans changed. Natalia stayed in Santa Marta and her mother was forced to move to Bogotá, to work at the Ministry of Culture, where she was an advisor.
This step was not easy for either of them. Every four months I visited her, but it wasn’t the same, I didn’t have her close as in previous years. The separation for them was tremendously difficult. Natalia lived with other athletes in the house of the technical director, they trained there at a very great sacrifice.
Athletics was not the world medalist’s first sport, since practiced swimming, but due to dermatitis produced by chlorox, he had to abandon his practice.
Today, Natalia continues to live in Santa Marta, trains daily and is doing the fourth semester of sports administration.
“’Nata’ is a girl very sure of what she wants, of her future, where she is going. She is an extremely loving woman, she got that from her grandmother, and he copied me that one must not give up, that one must go forward,” Yanelis said.
It hurts the pain of others, seeing people suffer and loves children. He learned from his family that you have to give a hand to people who need it, because the situation in the country today is very complicated.
She wants to be the best athlete in the world and has received proposals to go to study and train in the United States, but Natalia warns that she wants to follow a one hundred percent Colombian process, the one that has given you results.
Lover of reading and in his room it is easy to see books of romantic novels and personal growth.
He is a person rooted in the Vallenato culture. He feels, vibrates with his region and that was evidenced in the Bolivarian Games of Valledupar, in which it was gold in the long jump, having achieved it in the patio of her house was the best, for her an immense joy.
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Natalia Linares, silver medal at the World Championships in Athletics #Cali2022 🥈🇨🇴
The Colombian athlete won the silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, Sub 20. With a record of 6.59, Linares established herself as the second best on the planet.
– COL Olympic Committee (@OlimpicoCol) August 5, 2022
Editor of THE TIME
#Natalia #Linares #successor #Caterine #Ibargüen