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Ecuadorian weightlifter makes startling return after suffering a seizure

Neiei Barrera is a competitor to the end.


Dylan Love


Posted on Jul 15, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 8:47 am CDT

Ecuadorian weightlifter Neisi Barrera won a silver medal in the 2015 PanAm Games despite having a seizure in the middle of competition.

Barrera, 17, lost consciousness as she stepped off of the platform Tuesday in Toronto, Canada, immediately following one of her weightlifting rounds. Shortly after she came to rest on the ground, her body began convulsing and she had a low-grade seizure. Her team flocked to her assistance, shielding her from view of the cameras and tending to her on the floor.

Barrera was ultimately OK, returning to consciousness and walking off the platform without assistance. She made a startling, no-nonsense return to competition in the rounds that followed and ended up earning a silver medal.

The YouTube video below captures Barrera’s jarring (but ultimately pleasant) trajectory in competition.

There has been a severe lack of mention of Barrera’s seizure in other coverage of the event despite her high placement. Anyone who’s had a seizure should seek neurological consultation as soon as possible.

It appears Barrera simply had a silver medal to win first.

Screengrab via LíderEnDeportes GrupoÚN/YouTube

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*First Published: Jul 15, 2015, 12:48 pm CDT