In the 14 Summer Olympics that Ecuador has participated in since 1924, the South American country has collected a total of two medals. Race walker Jefferson Pérez won the gold medal in the Men’s 20 kilometer walk at the Games in Atlanta in 1996 and the silver medal in the same event in Beijing in 2008.
This year at the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, one of the best chances Ecuador has in bringing home its third Olympic medal (and first for a woman) in its history is in the weightlifting event with Neisi Dajomes. She will be competing in the 76-kilogram category.
It’s been an uphill battle for Dajomes over the last year with the pandemic. Competitions were cancelled and she was forced to train at home. She said they had to stop training last year until late 2020.
“For me, getting to Tokyo is a rather big challenge,” Dajomes, 23, told EFE. “These are my second Olympic Games. I have to take them with much more responsibility and do better work.”
Dajomes is from the city of Puyo, which is the capital of Pastaza, a province in Ecuador. The name comes from the Kichwa word meaning “cloudy.” There is nothing “cloudy,” however, about the goals Dajomes has set for herself in Tokyo this year.
She’s shown determination during her competitions leading up to this year’s Summer Games by being “100 percent focused” and winning medals at the Senior World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2019.
Along with Dajomes, 26 other Ecuadorian athletes have qualified for the 2021 Summer Olympics, including competitors for events like boxing, cycling, freestyle wrestling, horsemanship, pentathlon, shooting, table tennis and track and field.