|Persons - Athletes - Jackeline Renteria
Rentería Castillo (born
February 23, 1986 in Cali, Colombia) is a female wrestler from Colombia. She
won a bronze medal in the women's freestyle 55 kg at the 2008 Summer Olympics
and repeated the feat at the women's freestyle -55 kg category at the London
2012 Summer Olympics. With her second medal she ties Helmut Bellingrodt as the
most decorated Colombian olympians. She is studying at the Pontificia
wrestler Jackeline Renteria, who at age 25 has won the second Olympic bronze
medal of her career, in 1999 chose wrestling classes that were free instead of
judo classes that cost money because her family was so poor.
Before she was 14 and had not yet begun high school, she saw her athletic
future in running until her mother forbid her to run.
More or less gritting her teeth, her mom allowed her to spend her free time
practicing gymnastics to bolster the physical education classes at school.
But a teacher at Oscar Scarpetta School
in the Siloe neighbourhood of Cali
recommended that she start doing judo. Unfortunately, her family couldn't
The income of her father, a construction worker with no steady job, scarcely
covered the family's living expenses.
In an interview several years ago, Jackeline admitted that with the 120,000
pesos (some $60 in today's currency) a year the family could just buy food and
pay transport for a month.
She has never forgotten those days of hardships and sacrifices and today she has
no shame in recalling them.
Jackeline had to take a decision and she didn't hesitate - she took up
Early in the year 2000 she started practicing day and night and always with her
dream in mind - to go far and carve her name into the history of Colombian
She managed to enter Kapacho Wrestling
Club in Cali (Headcoach: Victor Hugo Capacho) and began to build a career
competing in local, regional, national and, later on, international tourneys.
Standing 5 feet 6 inches, she began racking up a record of victories in
tournaments outside Colombia.
Renteria won championships in 2006 in the South American Games in Buenos Aires and at the 2010 edition of that same
competition in Medellin, Colombia.
She also won individual gold medals at the Pan American Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and the Central American and
Caribbean Games at Mayaguez
But her most important triumphs were undoubtedly those she won at the last two
Olympic Games in Beijing and London, where she took a bronze in each.
Before arriving in the British capital, Renteria placed first in the Olympic
qualifying tournament at Helsinki
Renteria Thursday equaled Barranquilla's
Hellmut Bellingrodt, who was the only Colombian athlete to win two Olympic
medals for his country.
Bellingrodt won silver medals for shooting in the running target category at
the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich
and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Renteria won her second Olympic medal - the first was at the 2008 Beijing Games
- by defeating the Ukrainian Tetyana Lazareva in the 55-kilo category and has
promised to do still more, perhaps with a gold medal in the next Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.