Mariana Pajón is an exceptional Latin American athlete making history in her sport.
The Colombian sports star has managed to bring women's BMXing to a whole new level. Today, Mariana officially holds the Guinness World Records title for the most Olympic BMX medals (female) with a total of three.
She won two gold medals in women's BMX at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games on 30 July 2021.
Known as "The Queen of BMX", she began her professional career at the young age of five when she first got on a BMX bike. From that moment on, her life revolved around cycling and she began a journey filled with discipline, challenges and great adventures.
Mariana grew up accompanying her older brother Miguel to his weekly cycling practice and, at five, she decided she wanted to try it herself. In one of Miguel’s training sessions, they announced there would be a free competition that weekend. It took some courage to register, but that race would change the rest of her life.
Her family has always been her support, rock and inspiration.
"My role as her big brother will always be to protect her, accompany her, always be there for her, celebrate together, help her get up when she falls and it is incredible the team we have managed to form together. One of my purposes is to help the whole world see and value how incredible Mariana is, not only as an athlete but also as a person." - Miguel Pajón.
Once she discovered cycling was her passion, Mariana won her first continental championship at age five and her first world championship when she was just nine years old.
When Mariana started cycling, it was considered a predominantly male sport. As a little girl, she became accustomed to competing with the boys, some of them older than her. However, that didn’t stop her. Mariana's determination made her a strong competitor and she stood out thanks to her great success in competitions from such a young age.
Now 31, she’s made history in the sport. She is a leader in her discipline worldwide and one of the most influential women in Colombia.
Mariana has always believed in her full potential. Each pedal stroke brings her closer to her goal to have a positive impact on society and leave a legacy in the world.
This powerful woman is Colombia's only Olympic champion and triple Olympic medallist in women's BMX. She has also won 18 world championships in various categories and countless incredible awards.
Among the most important are:
- Gold medals at the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games
- Silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Gold medal at the Guadalajara 2011 and Lima 2019 Pan American Games
- 18-time BMX World Champion (9 with medal and UCI Rainbow jersey)
- 5 gold Medals at the South American Games
- 13 gold Medals at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cups
- 1 gold Medal at the Verona 2017 BMX European Rounds
- UCI BMX Supercross World Cup Tournament Champion in 2013, 2015, and 2021
- 4 gold Medals at the National Sport Games in 2015 and 2019
- 4-time US National Champion
"I have a ritual of triumph and it has always worked for me. I try to beat those negative thoughts with powerful phrases. I always wear different colored socks, different colored gloves and I tell myself just before I go out to compete that it's going to be a very good race." - Mariana Pajón
The journey has not been easy for Mariana. It has cost effort, tears, and several physical injuries. Among them, a broken collarbone, more than 15 bone fractures, torn ligaments and inflamed tendons among others. However, from each fall, she gets up with more strength to shine with more determination to keep pedalling to make her dreams come true.
"For me, having a Guinness World Records title is a dream come true. I remember asking for Guinness World Records books on Christmas, birthdays and special dates. And, seeing amazing people and talents. Receiving a title is the result of hard work and big dreams." - Mariana Pajón.
In addition to being a talented athlete, Mariana created the foundation Pedaleando Por Un Sueño (Pedalling for a Dream) to provide opportunities for children in Colombia to participate in sports, (especially BMX) fulfil their dreams, and believe in their country.
Mariana appears in the Latin American edition of Guinness World Records 2023 for her excellence as an Olympic athlete.
Congratulations Mariana and welcome to the Guinness World Records family!
Want more? Follow us across our social media channels to stay up-to-date with all things Guinness World Records! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Snapchat Discover– including our in-depth Curious Casebook series.
Don’t forget, we’re also on YouTube!
Still not had enough? Follow the link here to buy our latest book, filled to the brim with stories about our amazing record breakers.