It is a young card from Colombia for the Games, which start this Friday. 

She was only four months old when doctors discovered an anomaly in the formation of Jimena Leguizamón Leal, a girl who was born on the 12th of May 2005 in Bogotá.

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Jhon and Zulma, his parents, went to the appointment with great anguish. The doctor was frank and told them that Jimena had hip dysplasia and should be treated immediately to avoid future problems.

The problem was that the hip socket was not completely covering the upper spherical part of the femur, causing the joint to become partially or completely dislocated.

Jimena, the young figure of the Colombian delegation in the Bolivarian Games of Valledupar, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, was treated, the orthopedic devices and therapies served, had an effect, but another problem arose. At 15 months, the girl presented bacterial pneumonia and Zulma was scared again, she was a new mother and she was not very clear about what she had to do.

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She was prescribed antibiotics, because the fever did not go down. She returned to the emergency room and the doctors, after taking different scans of her, noticed that her lungs were invaded and proceeded to hospitalize her.

She was hospitalized for 13 days and when she came out she continued the treatment at home, 10 more days of antibiotics, because the lungs were destroyed. Jimena recovered, but the issue of dysplasia was still latent.

Jimena underwent surgery, it was necessary to try to overcome that hip problem, but it was for her benefit. Zulma says that her recovery was miraculous, because the problem was not easy.

“We follow the recommendations, at home we continue with the therapies, very judicious and in a short time we saw that the dysplasia was being overcome. However, the subject was not clear, because we felt the anguish of doing something else”, said Zulma.

Swimming for life

With the issue of dysplasia and the sequelae of pneumonia, the Leguizamón Leal family received a lot of advice, but one of them filled it.

They were told that swimming and cycling were very good sports and ideal for recover Jimena's mobility and lungs. They began to investigate, to ask and they decided on the first one.

He started swimming at the age of five. He went to classes with the aim of fully recovering from dysplasia and pneumonia, his plans were not to win, achieve gold, get on the podium.

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“After two years of swimming I recovered from the lung problems. And I saw a lot of progress on the hip issue. I went to Compensar, I took part in the nursery classes and continued with the medical commitment,” Jimena said.

The coaches not only saw in her an athlete who overcame her medical problems, but also that she had every chance of becoming a great champion, something that was supported when she joined the swim team and began to represent Bogotá.
< br>Then came the flirtations of other sports. She practiced skating, played volleyball, but her health conditions did not help her. Somehow they were disciplines that had a lot of contact and that hurt him.

It hurt when he hit, I couldn't stand the pain when he made contact, in change in the water everything was easier and, in addition, he had left aside the inhalers

“It hurt when I hit, I couldn't stand the pain when I made some contact, however in the water everything was easier and, furthermore, I had put aside the inhalers”, says Jimena.

Sure, the sports theme was a snowball. He did not have in mind to be a high-performance athlete, but that was the path. He had no problems with the study. She graduated from the María Inmaculada school in Bogotá, which she entered at a very young age in transition.

Jimena's life has not been easy, that's why she likes to help people who need it, who live in the street, who has no one to give him a plate of food, without receiving anything in return.

“I try to help people who are on the street, people who are in need. That is what hurts me. I would like to do it with markets”, specifies Jimena Leguizamón.
And he adds: “Many mothers and children in the swimming base quote me, I give them advice because I feel like helping them, telling them something.”

Their success in sports

In terms of sports, his success is impressive. In the last South American Youth Games in Rosario (Argentina) he won five medals: gold in 100 and 200 backstroke, silver in 200 medley, 50 backstroke and the 4 x 100 medley relay.

“They let me know that the experience was sensational. At the South American level, the idea was to test myself and, look, it was excellent for me. One meets and competes with high-quality athletes, ”said Jimena, who will now have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best of the area in the Bolivarianos, his first commitment to the Olympic cycle of the seniors.
His specialty is the 100 and 200 meters backstroke and 100 backstroke and his goal is to be able to qualify for the Paris-2024 Olympic Games.

The Bolivarians will be your springboard to launch into the pool to find that long-awaited box, but first you have to enter the pool and look for gold in Valledupar.

Day by day of the champion

In a few months he will go to the United States. He has in mind to take advantage of the fact that statistics say that his achievements are important and help him to go to study and continue swimming.

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“I like interior design, I watch programs, photos, I read a lot about it and that's what I want to dedicate myself to,” said Jimena, who currently does not have a good relationship with her father, while her mother, who is an accountant , is everything for her, her support in difficult times and with whom she shares in moments of joy.

The life of a high-performance athlete involves having few hours for social gatherings, going to the movies, going out with friends, but that has not been a problem for her.

She notes that she has been independent since she was little, and although she has friends, she likes to be alone, to share with her family, but she has not been a rock in the shoe not have time for that.

He warns that Colombian swimming has a drawback, that not all athletes have the same opportunities, there is no equality and that has harmed the different processes.

“That is why many people are discouraged, because they do not achieve something, because They do not have the same support as others. Parents should be aware that they should not put pressure on children, athletes, each process is different”, he indicates.

Jimena Leguizamón is one of the Colombian cards in the Bolivarianos, a Games in which she wants to forget her past, leave behind what happened in her life, dysplasia and pneumonia that, paradoxically, led her to be the champion that she is.< br>

LISANDRO RENGIFO
Editor of EL TIEMPO
@LisandroAbel

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