Yuri Alvear has won many medals as a judoka. She was three times the world champion: in 2009, 2014, and 2015. She also won medals in the Olympic Games (2008 and 2016). And not only that: she won awards in several Pan and South American championships.
As of December 2021, she became the coach of the Colombian Judo National Team. In this same year, they built a combat arena for judo named after her in Jamundi, her hometown (All Famous, n.d.).
Her career has been one of continuous success, but it has not been easy. Yuri Alvear has been a fighter. Her victories have taken a lot of drive from her, hard work, and a mind that knows about goals. This is her story!
Yuri Alvear: a champion is born
Yuri is the daughter of a low-income construction worker and a housewife. She was born in the industrial suburb of Jamundi, close to Cali, the third-largest city in Colombia.
Since she was little, Yuri had an exceptional talent for sports. And for that reason, she used to play basketball, volleyball, and water polo. Once, the judo municipal team coach saw her fighting at school and invited her to join the local team. She started late for judo, so her training was challenging. However, Yuri was never discouraged. She worked hard and made it! (Pantheon, n.d.).
Helping her family: her grand motivation
Many people have supported Yuri during her career: her coaches have been a great support, even in difficult times. Like when her knee was injured, and she could not participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021.
Nevertheless, her most significant support has been her family. They have always been there for her. In an interview, she said: “Our life has changed a lot because of judo, and that’s why I always want to do my best” (Judo, 2018).
Yuri is, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding black Colombian women. She is also an example for the Afro-Colombian community and for every woman in the country who wants to reach their goals.
Yuri Alvear, the coach
In 2022, Yuri Alevar started working as the coach of the national judo team. The team expects to win several medals in the Olympic Games taking place in Paris in 2024. The world champion is convinced of the excellent role Colombia will play in these games.
“I am thrilled and proud of being one of the coaches of the national judo team. It is a challenge for me and also a great responsibility, but I know that sportsmen and women in Colombia have the conditions and abilities for great results”. Her goal now as a coach is to help sportsmen and women to become professionals in their field (Antena 2, 2021).
Women in Colombia have played a big part in sports. The country has several champions in different fields: Tatiana Calderón, the first Latin American woman to drive an F1 car; Fabiola Zuluaga, a world tennis champion; Mariana Pajón, two times world champion in cycling and Chechi Baena, a super champion in roller skate, just to name a few. And Yuri Alvear is not only a world champion. She is one of the most beautiful Colombian women, not only because of her looks but for what matters most: she has a heart of gold and is always ready to help others.
All Famous. (n.d.). Yuri Alvear. https://allfamous.org/people/yuri-alvear-19860329.html
Antena 2. (2021). Yuri Alvear es la nueva entrenadora de la selección colombia de judo. https://www.antena2.com/otros-deportes/yuri-alvear-es-la-nueva-entrenadora-de-la-seleccion-colombia-de-judo
Judo. (2018, September 24). Yuri Alvear (Col) Bronze World Judo Championships Baku 18 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_E3vGWydfE
Pantheon. (n.d.). Athlete Yuri Alvear. https://pantheon.world/profile/person/Yuri_Alvear/