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Espinosa Gonzalez Cause of Death: A Tribute to a Fallen Champion”

Date: February 28, 2024 Time: 8:01 pm
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Date: February 28, 2024 8:01 pm

Maricet Espinosa González, a Cuban judo champion who competed for her country in the 2016 Olympics, died, according to several reports. She was 34.

González died on Monday, according to a social media post by the Pan-American Judo Confederation. “With tremendous sadness, we bid farewell to a Pan-American and Cuban Judo legend. Maricet Espinosa, fondly known as ‘La Mole’, leaves an unforgettable legacy,” the confederation posted on Instagram, originally in Spanish.”

 

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A post shared by Confederación Panamericana de Judo (@cpjudo)

The confederation’s statement continued, “Two-time Pan American Champion, World Medalist and Olympic Representative in Rio 2016. Rest in peace, our dearest Maricet. Our condolences to his family and Cuban judo. Your spirit and your achievements will last forever.”

Wanda Más Váldes, González’s neighbor and family friend, tells PEOPLE that the former Olympian had a heart attack on January 21 in Armenia. Several local media agencies, including CiberCuba and JudoInside, have also claimed a heart attack as the reason of death.

González’ mother lives in Cuba, according to Váldes, but “her sister and daughter live in Armenia, where she sadly lost her life.”

On Monday, a GoFundMe page was started to help González’ family cover the cost of sending her remains back to Cuba. The fundraiser also stated that González died on January 21, and that “her relatives do not have enough funds to send the body to her country.”

On Monday, the Cuban Sports University, commonly known as Universidad del Deporte Cubano, released a Facebook post in which it lamented the athlete.

Translated into English, the university’s statement said, “It is with great pain that the Cuban university sports community receives the news of the death of the outstanding Cuban judoka Maricet Espinosa González. At only 34 years old, ‘La Mole’ left for eternity, born in the capital, who stood out as a member of our national judo team, achieving two titles and a Pan American silver, all in the -63kg category.”

The institution concluded the statement by extending its “deepest condolences” to González’ friends, family, and colleagues.

González was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 2, 1990, and has participated in Judo all over the world. According to InsideJudo, she was the Pan American Champion in 2013 and 2014 and has bronze medals from Grand Slams in Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Baku.

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