He was cheated out of a title by blatant fouls, he gained a lot of placings in other events.

But Mario Valencia the Junior skater from Cali, but racing for the USA, scored the most popular win of the World championships, making the breaks doing the hard work & finally claiming the Victory, this was a fairytail victory.


Mario Juniors Mum was former Worlld Champion Luz Mery Tristan from Colombia, a proud Colombian who along with Claudia Ruiz & Guillermp Leon Botero won Colombia first ever World titles in 1990 in Bello Colombia.

Now 20 years after that epic event her oldest son Mario Junior won the World Junior Marathon Title, but skating for the USA.

Luz Mery Tristan Valencia runs the LMT skating School in Cali Colombia, & brings up her 5 Children alone.

The family story is well known in Colombia & particularly the USA, as her Husband & Mario’s Father Mario Valencia was extridited to the USA & Alleged to be the head of the Cartell of Cali.
This was on a lot of circumstantial evidence & the case at about the 4th appeal level.

It was touching to hear that his father locked away for an indefinate time, was saving a lot of his valuable 100 minutes a month maximum time limit on telephone contact, so he could get in touch with his son Mario, who in a stand alone situation, has stood up to be counted, to be applauded by most of the world skating community.

For me personally it was very special as I was waiting to see the first contact with his mother after the win, as I was Coach of Luz Mery & Colombia when she won her World title & my wife Cheryl won her 2nd World Title at the same championships. Our Daughter Nicole went on to win & now so has Luz Merys Son Mario. Well I collected my share of the hugs & tears, but missed the magic moment, but it was a dream come true for many people.

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