The greatest BMX rider of a generation, Mariana Pajón barely tasted defeat on the path from winning her first world title in 2010 to her second Olympic gold at Rio 2016.
“In 2000, when I was nine, I used to do gymnastics, not BMX, and I thought that I’d go to the Games as a gymnast,” said Colombian BMX rider Mariana Pajón. “I dreamed about moments like that. I felt so proud and I really wanted to go to the Olympic Games.”
Born on 10 October 1991 in Medellin, Pajón first sat on a bike at the age of four. Prompted by her father and brother, both BMX riders, she soon devoted herself to the sport and quickly proved to be a natural, winning race after race.
In 2007 and aged only 16, Pajón began a remarkable run of world championship success, both on the Olympic 20” wheel bike and the 24” wheeled cruiser. She won the U-16 world crown that year, followed by the junior cruiser title in 2008, the 20” junior in 2009, the elite cruiser in 2010 and the elite in 2011.
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