Diaz (left) at the 2007 Supercross World Cup
|Full name||María Gabriela Díaz|
2 January 1981 |
Alta Gracia, Córdoba, Argentina
|Height||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)|
|Weight||65 kg (143 lb)|
|Discipline||Bicycle motocross (BMX)|
|Infobox last updated on
October 20, 2013
María Gabriela Díaz (born January 2, 1981 in Alta Gracia, Córdoba) is an Argentine professional BMX cyclist. Emerging as the world's most decorated female BMX rider in history, Diaz has claimed multiple Argentine national titles, six Pan American championship titles, and five medals (three golds, one silver, and one bronze) in women's elite category at the UCI World Championships. She also won two medals, including a prestigious gold, in the same category at the Pan American Games (2007 and 2011), and later represented her nation Argentina at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Diaz sought sporting headlines at the UCI BMX World Championships, where she claimed a total of five medals (three golds, one silver, and one bronze) in the women's elite category, making her the world's most decorated female rider of all time. At the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Diaz powered her lead over the eight-strong female squad on the final stretch to take home the first gold for Argentina in the women's BMX category, finishing ahead of host nation's Ana Flávia Sgobin.
Diaz qualified for the Argentine squad in women's BMX cycling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing by receiving one of the nation's two available berths based on her top-ten performance from the UCI BMX World Rankings. After grabbing a fifth seed on the morning prelims with a time of 37.590 and then mounting a third spot in her semifinal heat with 13 placing points, Diaz narrowly missed out the podium by more than a second with a fifth-place finish in 39.747.
At the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Diaz could not defend her women's BMX title with a bronze-medal time in 42.971, holding off her sister Mariana on the final turn by a two-second advantage.
Diaz also sought her bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but she finished sixth in her quarterfinal heat at the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships in Birmingham, England, failing to advance further to the latter rounds for a coveted Olympic spot.
- "Gabriela Díaz". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Americans win silver, bronze at BMX worlds". USA Cycling. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Tilsed, Tracey (23–27 July 2003). "Gate ready to go down for the 2003 UCI BMX World Championships". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Medalla de bronce para la ciclista Gabriela Díaz en la final de BMX" [Bronze medal for cyclist Gabriela Díaz in the BMX final] (in Spanish). Primera Fuente. 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Gabriela Díaz le dio el primer oro a la Argentina" [Gabriela Díaz gave Argentina its first gold] (in Spanish). Los Andes (Mendoza). 16 July 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Richardson scores BMX gold for U.S. at Pan American Games". USA Cycling. 15 July 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Cuello, Victor (18 June 2008). "Belén Dutto cumple su sueño olímpico" [Belén Dutto fulfills her Olympic dream] (in Spanish). La Voz del Interior. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Women's BMX Seeding". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Women's BMX Semifinals Heat 1". Beijing 2008. NBC Olympics. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Díaz estuvo cerca de la medalla en BMX" [Díaz came close to a medal in BMX] (in Spanish). SiON. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Bronce de María Gabriela Díaz en BMX" [Bronze for María Gabriela Díaz in BMX] (in Spanish). La Nación. 22 August 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Gabriela Díaz, afuera de los Juegos Olímpicos" [Gabriela Díaz is out for Olympics] (in Spanish). La Voz del Interior. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2013.