Ruth Beitia Vila (Spanish pronunciation: [rut ˈβejtja]; born 1 April 1979) is a retired high jumper who was the 2016 Olympic champion in the women's high jump. She was also a politician in the Partido Popular and a member of the Parliament of Cantabria.

Ruth Beitia
Ruth Beitia by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Personal information
Full nameRuth Beitia Vila
Born (1979-04-01) 1 April 1979 (age 42)
Santander, Spain
Height1.92 m (6 ft 3+12 in)
Weight71 kg (157 lb)
Country Spain
Event(s)High jump
ClubAtletismo Piélagos
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • High jump: 2.02 m (2007)
Ruth Beitia
Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Cantabria
Assumed office
7 January 2019
Preceded byMaría José Sáenz de Buruaga
Member of the Parliament of Cantabria
Assumed office
Personal details
Ruth Beitia Vila

(1979-04-01) 1 April 1979 (age 42)
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Political partyPeople's Party of Cantabria
OccupationAthlete, physical education teacher


Beitia first broke the Spanish record in 1998, jumping 1.89 m. She raised the record progressively up to 2.02 m, the current Spanish record, which she achieved on 4 August 2007. She is the first, and thus far, only Spanish woman to have jumped higher than two metres.

Beitia's first senior international appearance was at the 2002 European Athletics Championships in Munich, where she finished 11th. At the 2003 World Championships in Paris, she also finished 11th. At the 2004 Athens Olympics she failed to reach the finals. In 2005, she won the silver medal at the 2005 European Indoor Championships in Madrid but at the world championships at Helsinki 2005 she failed to reach the finals. In 2006, she won the bronze medal at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Moscow.

In 2009, she won the silver medal at the 2009 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Turin. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, she placed fifth. In 2012, she won the gold medal at the European Championships in Helsinki and at the 2012 London Olympics she was fourth, after which she retired from competition.[1]

After a few months, disappointed by her failure to win an olympic medal, Beitia came back from retirement. She won the gold medal at the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Gothenburg. Then she would become European champion twice more, in 2014 at Zürich and in 2016 at Amsterdam. Finally, she won gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, with a height of 1.97m. This was the lowest winning height at the Olympics since the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, when Italian Sara Simeoni also cleared 1.97m.

Beitia ended in 12th place in the 2017 World Championships in Athletics and received the IAAF Fair Play Award for her behaviour during the competition.[2]

She announced her retirement from competition in October 2017, following a rheumatoid arthritis process.[3]

In 2021, two years after the original bronze medalist Svetlana Shkolina of 2012 Olympics from Russia had been disqualified for failing in doping test, Beitia was reallocated as the bronze medalist of that event.[4]

Olympic results Olympic rings.svgEdit

Olympic Games Discipline Place
  2004 Athens High jump 16
  2008 Beijing High jump 4
  2012 London High jump 3
  2016 Rio de Janeiro High jump 1


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing   Spain
1995 European Youth Olympic Days Bath, United Kingdom 5th 1.80 m
1996 World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 16th (q) 1.79 m
1997 Mediterranean Games Bari, Italy 9th 1.70 m
European Junior Championships Ljubljana, Slovenia 9th 1.82 m
1998 World Junior Championships Annecy, France 8th 1.80 m
1999 European U23 Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 11th 1.82 m
2000 Ibero-American Championships Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th 1.81 m
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon, Portugal 7th 1.93 m
European U23 Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 1st 1.87 m
Mediterranean Games Radès, Tunisia 4th 1.83 m
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 11th 1.85 m
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 5th 1.96 m
World Championships Paris, France 11th 1.90 m
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 9th (q) 1.93 m
Ibero-American Championships Huelva, Spain 4th 1.88 m
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 16th (q) 1.89 m
2005 European Indoor Championships Madrid, Spain 2nd 1.99 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 7th 1.89 m
Mediterranean Games Almería, Spain 1st 1.95 m
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 1.98 m
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 9th 1.92 m
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 6th 1.90 m
2007 European Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 3rd 1.96 m
World Championships Osaka, Japan 6th 1.97 m
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 4th 1.99 m
Olympic Games Beijing, China 4th 1.96 m
2009 European Indoor Championships Torino, Italy 2nd 1.99 m
World Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 1.99 m
2010 World Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 1.98 m
Ibero-American Championships San Fernando, Spain 1st 1.89 m
European Championships Barcelona, Spain 6th 1.95 m
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris, France 2nd 1.96 m
World Championships Daegu, South Korea 16th (q) 1.92 m
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 6th 1.95 m
European Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st 1.97 m
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd 2.00 m
2013 European Indoor Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st 1.99 m
World Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd 1.97 m
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 3rd 2.00 m
European Championships Zürich, Switzerland 1st 2.01 m
2015 European Indoor Championships Prague, Czech Republic 5th 1.94 m
World Championships Beijing, China 5th 1.99 m
Diamond League 1st details
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 2nd 1.96 m
European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 1st 1.98 m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st 1.97 m
Diamond League 1st details
2017 European Indoor Championships Belgrade, Serbia 2nd 1.94 m
World Championships London, United Kingdom 12th 1.88 m

Personal BestsEdit

Type Event Best Location Date
Outdoor High Jump 2.02 m[5] San Sebastián, Spain 4 August 2007
Indoor High Jump 2.01 m[5] Pireás, Greece 24 February 2007

Political careerEdit

Beitia in company of Pablo Casado and other PP honchos in January 2019.

In 2008, Beitia was named chair of the Regional Executive Committee of the local branch of the People's Party (PP), serving in that capacity until 2012.[6][7]

In 2011, she was ninth on the closed list of the PP for the election to the Parliament of Cantabria; the PP won 20 seats and she was duly elected. During her first term, she was named First Parliamentary Secretary, presiding over committee meetings and other gatherings of leading parliamentary officials.[6][7]

In the 2015 election, the PP lost its absolute majority and did not form the next government; however, she advanced her place on the list to sixth and was re-elected.[6][8]

In September 2018, Beitia was appointed a member of the national PP's executive board by leader Pablo Casado, serving as Secretary of Sport.[9]

In January 2019, the PP announced her advance on the list for the 2019 election to first place, thus becoming the party's candidate for President of Cantabria.[10] Nevertheless, a few days after Beitia stepped down and informed Casado of her decision to "leave politics due to strictly personal and family reasons".[11]


  1. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Ruth Beitia wins high jump gold for Spain aged 37". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Ruth Beitia Fair Play Award". Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Celebrated Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia retires". Marca. 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ RUTH BEITIA, Olympic official website
  5. ^ a b Ruth Beitia at World Athletics
  6. ^ a b c "Ruth Beitia, diputada de oro". 29 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "¿Por qué (Casi) todos los atletas son del PP?". 23 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Pablo Casado ficha a Ruth Beitia para el PP". Sport (in Spanish). 13 September 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Ruth Beitia será la candidata del PP a la presidencia de Cantabria". El País (in Spanish). 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ Pan-Montojo, Nicolás (23 January 2019). "Ruth Beitia renuncia a ser la candidata del PP en Cantabria". El País (in Spanish).

External linksEdit