Olympic medalist Caterine Ibargüen is running for the Colombian Senate

Colombian jumper Caterine Ibargüen, 2016 Olympic champion, announced on Wednesday her candidacy for the Senate in the March 2022 elections for a party plagued by corruption scandals.

"I believe that sport as a platform for change has a lot to do, so today I put my image in support of working for sport", said Ibargüen, 37, during his presentation as the main letter of the U Party in the next campaign for Congress.

Image of several international brands, Ibargüen is the highest figure in Colombian athletics. The charismatic jumper, known as the ebony queen of the Colombian slopes, took the gold medal in the triple jump in Rio-2016 and the silver in London-2012.

At the beginning of August, he announced his retirement from Olympic competition after his participation in the Tokyo games, in which he did not reach the podium.

Ibargüen will make his debut in politics with the support of the U Party, a community founded in 2005 to promote the re-election of then-president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and which later sheltered his successor Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018).

Former senator Bernardo Elías, who was one of its main figures, was sentenced this year for receiving bribes from the Brazilian multinational Odebrecht. While his squire in parliament, Musa Besaile, is in prison for allegedly bribing magistrates to divert investigations against him.

Four other parliamentarians elected in 2006 were also convicted of having the support of far-right paramilitary groups.

Today the movement has 39 out of 280 seats and has declared its independence from the conservative government of Iván Duque.

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Upon reaching the Senate, Ibargüen would become the second Olympic medalist with a seat in the Colombian legislature. Weightlifter María Isabel Urrutia, who won the first Olympic gold for the South American country in Sydney-2000, held a seat in the lower house of parliament between 2002 and 2010.


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