Jefferson Perez was born July 1, 1974 in Cuenca, Ecuador. He is a retired Ecuadorian Race Walker. He specializes in the 20km event, inwhich he has won the only two medals for my country has ever achieved in the Olympic Games.
He was born in one of the oldest neighborhood in Cuenca,to Manuel Perez and Maria Lucrecia Quezada. His family was of limited economic means. He attended the elementary schools Eugenio Espejo and GabrielaCevallos. Afterwards he entered the Francisco Febres Cordero high school at the same time working to help out his family.
He entered race-walking byaccident. To prepare for a walk that served as a high school physical education exam, he asked his brother Fabian to train for one week next to the group ofathletes directed by trainer Luis Muñoz. He decided to invite him to compete in a race. With few weeks of preparation he won the race AID, winning the right ofrepresenting Ecuador in New York, and London as a sport ambassador.
At first he participated in distance competition of five kilometers. Later he hadto make a radical decision, which was to dedicate himself completely to race walking. His first international achievement occurred when he won the bronzemedal in Junior World Cup of Athletics in Bulgaria in 1990
He won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics, becoming the youngest-ever gold medal winner inthe 20km walk event. In 2008 Olympics he won the silver medal in the same competition at 34 years of age, before announcing his retirement from the sport.