Special correspondent


Translation by Manuel Forero


CALI. - For many of more than two thousand skaters who gave to themselves appointment in the VII PANAMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP her name is strange. Inclusive, her figure her does not turn out to be known without knowing that for her side there happened the one who was the manager of opening the way gilded in the sports history of this country. 


It was the vallecaucana Claudia Ruiz the first world champion of skating who had Colombia, when in 1990, in development of the World ones of Route of Beautiful Antioquia, she imposed a record that minute to minute was turning in unbeatable up to assuring such a longed medal of gold.


Now as attendee of the headquarter of the World Championships of Cali 2007, our remembered Claudia Ruiz was recovered in the good hour for the national skating in an honoring that owed the Federation to her and that was endorsing the history, since from her victory in this evening of Thursday in antioqueño soil, Claudia promulgated what would be in a lot of time the best performance of Colombia in an orbital event. 


Some days later Luz Mery Tristán and Guillermo León Botero they would follow her steps to accumulate the first three medals of gold in the history of the Colombian skating.

Inclusive, in this World Championship of Route Claudia would harvest for her personal booty a medal of silver in the 500 and other one of bronze in the reliefs. It would be undoubtedly a spectacular, extraordinary, little imagined event, but especially, the whole support that would claim to our country this golden history that one has written in the last decade. 


… And Claudia is still so radiant; so sure, so happy as 16 years ago when she was the speed queen in the world … She is more, much more satisfied after having returned after a voluntary oblivion. In certain moments she felt forgotten, punished by the new generations, but who we have followed the fingerprint to this sport, precisely, from this moment when to win was not a question of method, we will continue recognizing her greatness. 


16 years ago, Claudia got up normally like always she was doing it. Billy Begg, the technician neozelandes that had contracted the League of the Valley to improve the yield of his skaters and that some months later would be contracted by the Federation to take charge of the Selection with a view to the World one of Beautiful, was the only one convinced in her conditions and up to where the skater might come caleña. 


" Hear me Claudia, you have everything to be a world champion, he was saying to myself and I me did not even believe it. I had been one year before in the World one of New Zealand and had experienced the hard thing that was to gain her at the Argentine Nora Vega and to the Italian Luanda Pilia y Govana Troldi. It is more, Nora was coming gaining 300 meters for five consecutive years … and everything was saying it ".


But the destiny had private room another thing. This November 17, 1990 Claudia Ruiz felt the own anxiety of this pressure extra that stamps the fact of being of place, with a public who waits for the best result and with a few companions to the expectation of what it was possible to do. "I was very anxious, my legs were trembling and i could not wait any more. Normally the one that goes in search of the medal is the last one for delegation. But I asked my trainer to leave myself to work out first ": 


Claudia Ruiz was the sixth skater in doing her début in the World Championship of Route of Bello, Antioquia 1990, but the first one in imposing a record that was making dream six thousand spectators who prostrated themselves in the flights of steps of the soccer stadium "Tulio Ospina", conditioned for the development of the orbital contest. They went to observe the power of the invited countries but they remained with the exploit of the vallecaucana.


" The fact of being the first one surprised to the whole world, since it was not traditional that the strategies were designing this way. But it was the best decision, since it pressed the performance of my more very strong rivals ", specified Claudia. 


" I knew that i had done a good time, but I started feeling more nervous when the Argentine one stopped the chronometers in 28.600, superior to the one that I did: 27.767. Already at least i had the confidence of being in the podium, but never imagining that one could gain the golden medal. I knew that the Italian were also strong. First it was the Pilia with 28.400 and then Trioldi with 28.300, and already … I raised Myself to the podium but to receiving the medal ".


It would be so much the power of the Colombian one, which was the only one in going down of 28 seconds and itself it speaks about this moment inspired of our first world champion. 


Then she would realize her great performance in 91 in the Pan-American Games of Havana, Cuba and the fourth position in the World one of Rome of 92. In 1994 there came then the pregnancy of her son Felipe and the definitive retirement of the tracks of the country and of the world. 


They were 16 years that began with victories in her first national championship (Pereira) when only she was 10 years old. But other priorities arise in the life and her absence did that the new generations were supporting in the oblivion. 


But today again she appears to receive the recognition that the Colombian skating owes him. " I am very satisfied and single. Only I live for my son and with many nostalgia, but also with happiness everything what has done to itself for this sport in the last years. I want to recognize to Carlos Orlando Ferreira and to all his work team their tireless work up to turning Colombia into the great power of the world … Into my epoch like that we were looking to Italy … Today, the things are to another price and are they who do the permission to us ".