At just 24 years old, Rojas ran, jumped, and flew over 15 meters on the indoor track at the Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur, leaving her record-holding mark on the competition.
This accomplishment earned her the title of 2020 Athlete of the Year award by World Athletics.
“This record is unforgettable. The full stands, the adrenaline that I felt in every jump, and then the surprise to hear that I had succeeded in breaking the record, it’s a day that always remains in my memories and reminds me that with consistency we can all reach anything,” said Rojas.
Since she was a child, Rojas has always had a passion for sports, as it brings her feelings of joy, well-being, and freedom. It also encourages her to effectively perform and challenge herself both physically and mentally.
The queen of the triple jump was born in Caracas, Venezuela on October 25th, 1995, where athletic dream began with her desire to place volleyball.
Her father Pedro Zapata took her to the Anzoátegui State Sports Complex, where Yulimar immediately drew attention due to her athletic build.
As volleyball coaches were not available to meet with her, she began to teach herself and practice. She would then surprise everyone on the team with her amazing performances.
The sport has been the source of her inspiration, a driving force in her life and the reason why she continues to fight for her ambitions every day. She mentions that it has made her become a better person and through it all has helped bring happiness and unity to her country.
The athlete is known for being a dynamic, disciplined, and very charismatic woman. She’s clear about where she wants to go in life and the work needed to do in order to achieve her goals.
She considers her most important and exciting achievements to be:
The 2016 Portland World Indoor Championships (Gold)
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games (Silver)
The 2017 London World Championships (Gold)
The 2018 Birmingham World Indoor Championships (Gold)
The 2019 Doha World Championships (Gold)
The 2019 Lima Pan American Games (Gold)
The Indoor World Record (15.43 meters) (first place), and now, her first GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title!
“All of my medals are worthy, but Birmingham has a special meaning. It is the example of my sacrifices. It was an odyssey to get there. We were stranded, moving from subways and taxis everywhere because our flights were cancelled due to a snowstorm. I didn’t even have my suitcases, but when you have an objective or clear goal in your life, you will truly become a winner.” Rojas said.
Each effort, every impulse, every step has brought her closer to becoming one of the strongest candidates to win the gold medal at the upcoming 2021 Olympic Games. And thus, completing the goal that has motivated her continuously to keep training.
“The Olympic gold is waiting for me,” she mentioned.
Not only is she one of the best athletes in Venezuela as well as the world, now Rojas has become an inspiration for all.
She seeks to inspire others to recognize that they are the champions of their own lives. Her message focuses on motivating the community to fight and work for their dreams because it really is possible to achieve them!
Rojas is the only Latina who has set this record. Previously, it was Tatyana Lebedev of Russia and Ashia Hansen of Great Britain, marked at 15.36 in 2004 and 15.16 meters in 1998, respectively.
The discipline and determination she exhibits led her to achieve incredible honors, but she never imagined that she’d become an official Guinness World Records title holder.
“It’s an honor for me, I’m very grateful to be a part of history for Guinness World Records! Do you know what this means? It’s immense! It’s another achievement for my coach, my work team, my family, and I. This is another window that opens to continue motivating others to achieve whatever they want. I still cannot believe it!”