Colombians are in shock following the death of former skateboarder and cycling pioneer Luz Mery Tristan, who was found dead in her residence on Sunday. Tristan reportedly suffered five gunshot wounds inflicted by an individual who may have been her partner.
Tristán had her period of great success After winning the Pan-American Skating Championship at the age of twenty, she xpanded her success into cycling, further standing out in 1986 as part of the Colombian team for the Grande Boucle, the women’s version of the Tour de France. Her career ranked her as the World Skating Champion in Bello, Antioquia in 1990.
According to authorities, Tristán was believed to have been murdered by her partner, Andres Gustavo Ricci Garcia, who was captured in the raid on a housing condominium located on the road leading to the hill of Cristo Rey. The man was found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he was arrested by the police who are now investigating the case to determine whether it will be classified as a feminicide.
Tristán was a pioneer in cycling in Europe when she became part of the team racing the Tour de France in 1986. After retiring from sports, she started her own business as a sportswear brand and created a skating school in Cali which bears her name.
The news of the murder has sent shockwaves throughout the country, with the mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván Ospina, referring to the incident with sadness and the governor of Valle del Cauca, Clara Luz Roldán, also expressing her sadness and noting that Tristan will remain a beacon of inspiration. Likewise, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro Urrego, reaffirmed his hopes that authorities will find justice in the case.
This tragic event serves as a reminder to take all necessary steps to end gender based violence in Colombia and around the world. The legacy of Luz Mery Tristán will remain in the hearts of all those she inspired in the sport.