Weightlifting Icon Lydia Valentin Bows Out: A Tribute to a Legend

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 21, 2023

Spanish weightlifting powerhouse, Lydia Valentin, has hung up her lifting belt, calling time on a career that’s been nothing short of legendary.Woman about to lift weights

The triple Olympic medalist and double world champion announced at a gathering at the Spanish Olympic Committee’s HQ in Madrid.

Valentin, 38, boasts an impressive medal haul, including an Olympic silver from Beijing 2008, gold from London 2012, and bronze from Rio 2016.

She also clinched world titles in 2017 and 2018, not to mention a silver in 2019. Her European accolades? Four golds and five silvers in women’s weightlifting.

Valentin’s signature ‘heart’ hand gesture became a symbol of her victories, making her a beloved figure in Spain.

But every athlete has their Achilles’ heel. For Valentin, it was a persistent hip injury that played a spoilsport in her quest for Paris 2024, nudging her towards retirement.

“I announce my farewell to the elite, although I would like it to be a day of celebration,” Valentin said, her voice echoing with a mix of nostalgia and pride.

“I leave happy, satisfied and very grateful, I have achieved much more than I imagined. I have made history and I have put my sport at the top of the world,” she added, surrounded by a sea of loved ones and fellow athletes.

So here’s to Lydia Valentin, a true titan of the weightlifting world. Her legacy? A testament to the power of grit, determination, and a heart full of passion.

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