|On approach to Armenia|
|Shacks along the River where Carlos fished as a child|
Near the river begins the story of a champion. It was along this river where Carlos used to fish with his father as a child. They did not fish for sport, rather they fished for a nutritious food source. Carlos grew-up in poverty, extreme by US standards, as Colombia does not have the same infrastructure and social support system that the US or other developed countries have. Despite, these tough conditions, Carlos's family worked hard to improve their situation.
On the positive, Colombia has community sports programs that are open to urban youths. When Carlos was 14, a classmate brought him to the weightlifting gym in Armenia. Immediately, Carlos became in love with the sport and started training. The weightlifting program offers an outlet to youths like Carlos. Often, children are given food and a small stipend as incentive to continue. He would go to training before and after school each day.