Alvear Claims Colombia’s First-Ever Olympic Medal in Judo…

London Olympics 2012

Now that’s how you shake it of… Following a crushing 10-second loss to eventual winner Lucie Decosse of France in the quarterfinals, Yuri Alvear bounced back to claim her place on the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The 26-year-old Colombian judoka, the 2009 world champion, beat Fei Chen of China on Wednesday to take the bronze medal in the in the 70kg division in women’s judo.

Yuri Alvear

In the process, Alvear—who placed seventh after losing a very close match to Leire Iglesias of Spain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing—landed in the annals of Colombian sports, giving her country its first Olympic medal in judo.

Yuri Alvear

Having learned that Alvear had won Colombia’s first Olympic judo medal, the country’s president Juan Manuel Santos called her to thank her. The only problem was, she was too busy to speak to him.

“At that moment I was heading to the medal ceremony so I couldn’t talk to him,” Alvear said laughing. “I told him I would call him back when the ceremony finished.”