Driulis González (b. 1973) is a Cuban judoka (person who practices judo) who has won four Olympic medals – a gold medal in 1996 – and competed at five Olympics.
She competed in the U57kg and U63kg weight classes and is a three-time world champion.
González has won seven World Champion medals, and 11 Pan American Titles. Her Olympic success lasted from 1992 to 2004 and she medaled at the 2007 Pan American Games.
“That 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold marked my name worldwide, gold is the one that gives you glory,” she said. “That one in particular means a lot to me because it was after a serious injury to my cervical that prevented me from dedicating myself to exercise.”
She was born in Guantánamo, Cuba, and moved to Havana to the national school to train at 13. She originally wanted to compete in track & field, but after a strength test, she started competing in judo.
“And there was Driulis, thirteen years old, from the streets to the EIDE “Rafael Freire” del Guaso, so I assure you that my discoverer was my own father,” she said. “They taught me a technique and at the moment I repeated it without problems. I didn’t know anything about judo and look what I achieved.”
González is considered one of the best judokas in Cuba – and arguably of all time – and had a career that spanned decades.
She retired in 2010 and has been conducting clinics for young judokas in the United States. She said she will dedicate herself to the sport as long as it exists.
She was inducted into the International Judo Hall of Fame in 2015. Read more of her stats.
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