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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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female powerlifter Amalia Perez holds up a gold medal and a toy mascot

Amalia Perez

Powerlifting
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Amalia Perez is well established on the Para powerlifting scene. She has been participating in the sport for over 20 years now, and during this period she has become one of Mexico’s most well-known Paralympians thanks to the success that she has acclaimed throughout her career.

Perez is coached by her husband, Jose Enrique Alvarado Paiz, and she trains four days per week.

In 2018, Perez proved again how strong she is by winning the women’s up to 61kg at the Americas Open Championships in Bogota, Colombia, and the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.

The year before, she enjoyed one of her most-celebrated victories as she claimed the World Championships title in the up to 55kg on home soil in Mexico City.

Perez made her Paralympic debut at Sydney 2000, where she won the silver medal in the women's up to 52kg weight category.

After taking another silver medal at the 2002 World Championships, the Mexican dropped down a weight category in search of a gold medal at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. However, despite her best efforts she could once again only muster a silver.

Things changed after this event, though, as Perez went one better at the 2006 World Championships, where she finally won a gold medal.

Then in Beijing, she set a new Paralympic record with a lift of 128kg en route to claiming her first Paralympic gold.

In 2012, Perez won her second Paralympic gold medal at the London Games in the women's up to 60kg weight category with a Paralympic-record lift of 135kg to prove to the world that she is only getting better with age.

And that is exactly what she has continued to do, winning World Championships gold in the women's up to 61kg in Dubai, UAE, in 2014.

In 2015, as well as gold at the first Americas Open Championships, she set a new world record at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games.

And at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Perez secured her third consecutive gold medal with a new world record of 130kg, the third time she has held a world best mark.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Impaired muscle power
Origin of Impairment
Congenital

Further personal information

Family
Husband Enrique Alvarado, daughter Melissa
Residence
Mexico City, MEX
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Spanish, English

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began practising sports at age six as part of her rehabilitation. She took up powerlifting at age 18.
Why this sport?
"I felt like I could practise it, and I also wanted to boost the women's competition in order to be included in the Paralympic Games."
Club / Team
Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social [IMSS]: Mexico City, MEX
Name of coach
Enrique Alvarado [husband], MEX, from 2002
Training Regime
She trains at both the Mexican Paralympic Centre [CEPAMEX] and the High Performance Centre [CNAR] in Mexico City, Mexico.

International debut

Year
1993
Competing for
Mexico
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

General interest

Hobbies
Music, movies, reading, dancing. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Making her international debut for Mexico. (Athlete, 04 Dec 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her family. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2019)
Hero / Idol
Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2019)
Injuries
In February 2013 she underwent surgery on her left shoulder and was unable to train for seven months. (am.com.mx, 19 Feb 2014; paralympic.org, 27 Apr 2013)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She sits on the bench, takes deep breaths, nods her head, points upwards, places her hands on her chest and hits her legs three times while giving shouts of encouragement. (paralympic.org, 18 Oct 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you never dare, you'll never fly. Make decisions and do not be afraid." (excelsior.com.mx, 10 May 2015)
Awards and honours
In January 2016 she received the Mexican National Sports Award for the third time in her career. (paralympic.org, 29 Jan 2016)

She was named Paralympic Athlete of the Year at the 2009 Fox Pan American Sports Awards. (hispanicwire.com, 10 Dec 2009)
Other sports
Her husband Enrique Alvarado has coached the Mexico national Para powerlifting team. (gob.mx, 26 Oct 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (esto.com.mx, 28 Jun 2017)
Impairment
She was born with congenital arthrogryposis, a condition that impairs the muscle power in her legs. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2019; excelsior.com.mx, 10 May 2015)
Other information
SWITCHING CATEGORIES
In 2018 she moved from competing in the 55kg category to the 61kg category. She won both the 2018 Asia-Oceania Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, and the Americas Open Championships in Bogota, Colombia, in the new weight class, but revealed the switch was just an experiment and that she plans to compete in the 55kg category in the lead-up to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "It was a good test to see how far I can get. I feel I'm on the right track. Now I am going to continue with my category." (amqueretaro.com, 06 Jan 2019; insidethegames.biz, 07 Dec 2018; gob.mx, 10 Sep 2018)

OTHER ROLES
She is a certified powerlifting coach with the International Powerlifting Federation [IPF], and also served as a judge at the 2019 National Powerlifting Championships in Mexico. "I know that future generations are coming after me and I want to do my part for my country and society." (Athlete, 19 Jul 2019; periodicoelmexicano.com.mx, 19 Mar 2019)

LARGE FAMILY
She has 12 siblings. (paralympic.org, 27 Apr 2013)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games (Sydney, Australia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -52 kg Final Round 2
IPC Powerlifting World Championships Kuala Lumpur 2002 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -48 kg Final Round 2
IPC Powerlifting World Championships Busan 2006 (Busan, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -52 kg Final Round 1
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -52 kg Final Round 1
2010 IPC Powerlifting World Championships (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Up to 60.00kg Final 2010-07-28 9999
Women's Up to 60.00kg WR Attempt 2010-07-28 1
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -60 kg Final Round 2012-09-02 1
2014 IPC Powerlifting World Championships (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Up to 61.00 kg MD Final 2014-04-08 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's -55 kg Final Round 2016-09-10 1
Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Up to 55.00kg Final 2017-12-03 1