In Colombia, BBVA supports a group of national athletic stars who have found the bank to be a great ally to accomplish their goals. Today, triathletes, tennis players, BMX bikers and even a freediver are on the bank’s starting line.
As part of its Corporate Responsibility programs, BBVA Colombia has sponsored a group of athletes from different sports. Despite their low income, they share an enormous desire to accomplish new goals even if they seem beyond their means.
Triathletes, a tennis player, a BMX biker, a freediver and a wheelchair athlete encompass the wide range of champions BBVA is unconditionally supporting in their quest to go farther, deeper and faster.
A warrior on three wheels
Francisco Sanclemente is a warrior. Even if it sounds simplistic, it his reality nonetheless. Missing both of his legs and in a wheelchair, it is his voice, ideas and strength that has allowed him to win races like Lend Me Your Leg – a 10K for landmine survivors; the Cali Half-Marathon; the Buga Half-Marathon, his hometown, and many more.
“When I was 18 years old I had transverse myelitis. Inflammation in my spinal cord caused the marrow to split, blocking nerve impulses from reaching my legs. It left me in a wheelchair
“I wanted to stay in shape so I started going long distances in my regular wheelchair. That’s how wheelchair racing became a part of my life and with it, an identity that made a lot of the limits from the disability disappear. Now, with the support of BBVA, I am an elite wheelchair athlete. I compete in 10K, 21K and 42K road races. My passion for sports has led me to compete in the most important marathons and half marathons in the country, and the most important race in South America, in Buenos Aires, Argentina,” says Sanclemente.
Dark blue for Sofía
Dynamic apnea with fins involves swimming underwater wearing a monofin in order to reach the farthest distance possible without breathing.
Colombia is currently home to the Pan American and Bolivarian champion with a regional record of 195.76 meters. She also won the V Pan American Championship of Apnea in Mexico where 30 athletes from four countries participated.
Her name is Sofía Gómez Uribe, a “paisa” born in Pereira. She has lived in Medellin since she was six years old where she practices every day. She recently completed her civil engineering degree at Medellin University.
After winning the gold medal at the 2014 Bolivarian Games in Peru, in 2015 was ranked fourth in the world after earning second at the Big Blue competition in Baja California, Mexico in October where she also set a South American and national record.
- 55 meters constant weight without fins (first place and South American record).
- 78 meters free immersion (second place and South American record).
- 75 meters constant weight with fins (South American record).
- 81 meters constant weight with fins (second place and South American record).
Sofía is currently in the Bahamas training for the 2016 international competitions, which will be held in May and June.
A 16 year-old on his way to becoming an elite triathlete
At just 16 years old, Eduardo Londoño already has the mature and serious outlook on life of an elite athlete. Proof of this are the gold medals he earned in the sprint triathlon and mixed relay triathlon at the first South American Youth Games in Lima, Peru. He also finished eleventh at the Youth Olympic Games in China.
To reach these goals he wakes up every day at 4:00AM before the sun rises to start his training. His practices are now much more intense since he finished high school at the Gimnasio Horizontes de Manizales, a place whose hills and geographic location allowed him to cultivate his physique.
Londoño first appeared on the national triathlon scene in San Andrés Islas where he recently finished second at the Central American championship after having medaled in his first competition in Europe at the end of 2015.
He is now looking to the elite category where the triathlon includes a 1,500 meter swim, a 20 kilometer bike ride and a 10 kilometer run – twice the distance he is used to in the youth category.
María Camila Diosa
14 years old
BMX biker in the 14-16 age group
-Ranked second nationally
-Ranked first in her department Leader of the Interclub Cup and first in the Pre-World Cup for Antioquia
-Champion of the 2015 Antioquia Cup
-2015 Champion of the Bello municipality
-Champion of the 2015 Mayors’ Cup
-Fourth in the 2015 Pan American competition in Chile
-Semifinalist in the first World Championship in Belgium in 2015
-Semifinalist in the USA BMX GRANDS in Oklahoma in 2015
Sergio Nicolás Guevara
23 years old
22-24 age group
-Ranked first nationally
-Qualified for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago, U.S. -Third place at the National Championship at the Calima Lake in Darién (Cauca Valley)
-Third place at the San Andrés Islas National Triathlon Championship in the sprint triathlon
Juan Esteban Rubio
22 years old
Triathlete Sprint Triathlons
-Ranked first nationally
-Top 10 (7th) at the Triathlon American Cup in Punta Guilarte, Puerto Rico
-First place at the National Championship at the Calima Lake in the Cauca Valley
-First place at the San Andrés Islas National Triathlon Championship
-Three gold medals and one bronze medal at the National Games
-Qualified for the Triathlon World Cup in Cozumel, Mexico