PARAPANS: Mexico’s Perez a Powerlifting Queen

Amalia Perez has already hit the minimun qualifying standard for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. 19 Oct 2011
Amalia Perez celebrating victory

Amalia Perez won powerlifting gold in her last two Paralympic Games appearances.

ⒸGetty Images

Editor's Note: Prior to November’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is counting down the top 10 storylines to watch. Today, we reveal No. 8, which focuses on the queen of Powerlifting, Mexico’s very own Amalia Perez.

Amalia Perez has been entering Powerlifting competitions for more than 20 years, so there is no need to question where all her self-confidence sprouted from entering next month’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

With a lift of 135kg in her home country of Mexico on 4 June, Perez has already hit the minimum qualifying standard for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. However, she will not technically be assured the spot until she is officially awarded the slot by the Mexican Paralympic Committee.

But, as the world's No. 1 in the women’s 60kg category, Perez is bound to be a firm favourite in Guadalajara from 12-20 November.

Her expectations are nothing but golden.

“That’s what they’ll expect of me,” Perez said of her people. “The gold medal is very important, and it’s a responsibility for me because I am here in my home competing in front of my country and my people.

“At this moment, Mexico is picked to finish maybe first or second because it’s very strong in Powerlifting on the women’s side.”

Perez, who is coached by her husband Jose Enrique Alvarado Paiz and trains on Mondays, Fridays and the weekend, will be an even safer bet for gold because her biggest rivals will not be present.

France’s Souhad Ghazouani and China’s Jianjin Cui, ranked second and third in the world, respectively, behind Perez, will be absent.

The 38-year-old’s toughest competition in Guadalajara will come from Brazil and Venezuela.

For somebody who has been through all of the ups and downs of training and competitions for two decades – longer than some of the other athletes have been alive – it would be a sheer disappointment for Perez if she did not walk away with a gold medal strung around her neck.