One of the most accomplished Cuban cyclists will be marking her fifth Pan American Games in Toronto this July.
Yumari González, currently in Aguascalientes, Mexico with her peers at a training base, debuted at the continental competition in 1999, also in Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The spirited 36-year-old started winning medals at a very young age, for a total of seven (1-2-4) including two bronze in the 500 metre time trial and sprint.
Early on she demonstrated her skills in a lower category: in 1995 she placed ninth in the 500 metre and eighth in the World Junior sprint in Italy. In 1997 she climbed the podium with gold and silver, respectively in those races.
At the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo in August 2003, the strong rider, born in Santa Clara and resident since childhood of the town of Cabaiguán added two bronze metals in 500 metre and keirin, a short event similar to the sprint but with eight finalists.
That was her most glorious decade as she became the Cuban cyclist with the most medals in world championships and she added more Cycling World Championships victories in the middle distance group such as scratch (two golds and two silvers) and points race (one silver) between 2007 and 2010.
In Rio de Janeiro 2007 Yumari realized her dream of winning the road race, adding yet another colour to her brilliant Pan American canvas.
In December 2010 she attained her greatest reward, a son, with her partner in life former cyclist Reinaldo Rodríguez, whose support was key to athlete’s return to cycling in February 2011 and her return to the all-star team.
She he and her riding partners Yoanka González and Iraida García competed at the 2011 Pan American Games as mothers.
Guadalajara saw her join forces with Yudelmis Dominguez and Dalila Rodriguez to take the silver as a trio in the three thousand metre team pursuit, a trio in the three thousand metre distance.
Before ascending the podium as part of the ruling triad, Yumari crossed the finish line between the young Arlenis Sierra and another veteran, Yudelmis, to win the Cuban cyclists’ seventh medal of the games, a score she will attempt to beat in Toronto in a few days.