Soraya Jimenez, who became a national hero in Mexico when she became the nation's first woman to win Olympic gold, died of a heart attack in her hometown of Mexico City on Thursday. She was 35.
Jimenez won gold during the Sydney's Olympic Games for the women's 58 kilogram category, lifting a total of just over 497 pounds reports Reuters.
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Describing her as "one of the most beloved athletes" in the nation, the Mexican Olympic Committee released a statement on Thursday saying it was "in mourning" following Jimenez’s death reports the Associated Press.
After winning gold in 2000, Jimenez retired from the sport shortly before having to compete in the 2004 Athens games.
Jimenez reportedly suffered from various injuries associated with weightlifting including consistent problems with her left knee, which required her to have surgery 14 times since her triumph at the 2000 Olympics.
She went on to become a sportscaster for the Televisa television network. In 2002, Jimenez had been accused of doping, however she was later exonerated.
In an interview with a Mexican magazine in 2010, the famous weightlifter disclosed that she suffered from a weakened immune system after contracting the flu several times reports Reuters.
Maria Espinoza became the second female athlete to win gold for Mexico, winning in a taekwondo competition in the 2008 Chinese Summer Olympics.
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