Born in Talca with arthogryposis, Juan Carlos Garrido moved to Santiago shortly after to help with his rehabilitation. "My parents worked in a thousand different jobs to pay for my rehabilitation". It was in Santiago at the age of 15 where Juan first became involved in sports, initially playing basketball but preferring more individual sports rather than team. At the age of 18, at the urging of a friend Juan started to lift weights - "I was invited by a friend to try it and found that I was pretty good at it. Why weightlifting? Because it's the base of every sport, there's really no other sport without it".
Within 3 months of starting his training Juan was invited by his coach to attend the World Championships in the Arab Emirates. From there he qualified for Sydney 200, coming 6th place but setting a Pan-American world record in the 48kgs category. "Every day of training, you are competing against yourself to overcome the daily pain of training. It's the hardest thing for any athlete and it differentiated professional from amateur. You win medals by training, not by competence".
Today, Juan is 4th in the World Weightlifting Rankings - with the determination to be the very best he can be in all future competitions. "The adrenaline I feel before the start of a competition to the moment of completion - all those years of training are defined in just 30 seconds. It's become a lifestyle for me. A way to show others that I can be the very best and proudly represent my country throughout the world".