27259-Erica Maria Castano Salazar photo

Erica Maria Castano Salazar



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Husband Edward Ortiz
Cali, COL

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in 2014 in Medellin, Colombia. She had previously started swimming in 2012.
Why this sport?
After recovering from her injuries, she turned to sport as a way to help occupy her mind and give her a goal to work towards. She first tried Para swimming but, due to breathing problems, she switched to Para powerlifting. She was later invited to try throwing events in Para athletics. "I want to be an inspiration for other people to show they can overcome any problem."
Club / Team
Valle del Cauca: Colombia
Name of coach
Alonso Mina [national]; Freyman Arias [national]

General interest

Listening to music, playing the piano, singing, cooking, reading. (Athlete, 08 Nov 2019;, 20 Apr 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Finishing in fourth place in discus throw at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 08 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
Her mother. (Athlete, 08 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
US archer Matt Stutzman. (Athlete, 08 Nov 2019)
Famous relatives
Her brother Carlos Roossellvelt has represented Colombia in Para athletics. (SportsDeskOnline, 07 Oct 2019;, 08 Aug 2018)
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 10 Mar 2021)
She was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after she was hit by a stray bullet during a shooting at a shopping centre in December 2008 in Medellin, Colombia. (, 15 Dec 2019;, 08 Aug 2018)
Other information
She sustained her impairment after she was hit by a stray bullet during a shooting at shopping centre in Medellin, Colombia. Five months earlier, her brother Carlos, who has also gone on to represent Colombia in Para athletics, sustained a serious injury in a similar incident at a shopping centre in Medellin. "At that time, it was difficult, above all, for my mother, who was the one who had to deal with everything. When I was shot I fell to the ground. I was aware that I would end up in a wheelchair, just like my brother, because he had told us what it felt like when he got shot. His story and what he had gone through made me accept my reality." (, 15 Dec 2019;, 08 Aug 2018)

She works as a lawyer, specialising in criminal law. She also has a degree in sports management. "All my life I wanted to be a lawyer. Finally, my plan was fulfilled, and I am very pleased about it. But I also want to continue my sporting career." (, 15 Dec 2019; Athlete, 08 Nov 2019)

In 2018 she had to take about one year away from the sport after she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus. She returned to training in January 2019. (, 16 Feb 2021)

She has served as an athlete representative at the Colombian Paralympic Committee. (, 16 Feb 2021)


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Javelin F56 Final Round 2016-09-10 8
Women's Discus Throw F55 Final Round 2016-09-17 4
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Shot Put F55 Final 1 2017-07-15 2
Women's Discus Throw F55 Final 1 2017-07-21 2