Against all odds: Mirna Ortiz
Al Jazeera meets a racewalker on her way to the London Games despite quitting the sport to support her family at age 15.
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2012 18:32

Mirna Ortiz, a 25-year-old single mother, is on the path to realising her dreams of Olympic glory after qualifying to compete at the London Games this year. 

One of eleven brothers and sisters, the Guatemalan athlete trained and competed in racewalking for just three years before quitting at the age of 15 to help support her family. 

But in 2009, a coach who saw her race when she was a teenager tracked her down. He helped convince her to leave her job at a supermarket and return to training.

David Mercer reports from Guatemala City. 


Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.

Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.