2000 Gold Medalist Dies: Soraya Jimenez Dies of Heart Attack Aged 35 (VIDEO)

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(Photo: Reuters/File)Mexican weight lifter, Soraya Jimenez shows her Olympic gold medal as she arrives in Mexico City, September 29, 2000. Soraya won her gold medal in 58 kg weight lifting event on September 18.

Popular Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Soraya Jimenez, has died in her hometown of Mexico City, it was confirmed on Thursday.

Jimenez, Mexico's first female Olympic champion, is reported to have died from a heart attack aged 35 this week.

The Olympic weightlifter was hugely popular, and the Mexican Olympic Committee released a statement Thursday saying it was "in mourning."

After Jimenez's gold medal in 2000, she was forced to retire from weightlifting due to various injury problems. She moved on to become a sportscaster for the Televisa television network.

Jimenez is praised by some for inspiring a generation of Mexican women to push forward and become top athletes. The inspiring image of her winning her gold medal as the first female Mexican athlete, spurred on others, and in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Maria Espinoza also went on to win a gold medal in taekwondo, becoming the only other Mexican woman to win an Olympic gold until now.

Here is a video of Jimenez: