One of twin sisters, Soraya Jiménez began weightlifting before her teen years, after playing basketball, badminton, and swimming as a child. Her first major podium finish was third at the 1994 NORCECA Cup in Colorado Springs. She first participated at the World Championships in 1996, after recording her first major win at the Simón Bolívar International in Venezuela. In 1998 she won her weight class at both the Guatemala Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Games, setting her up for a big year in 1999. In 1999 she won multiple titles, including the Thessaloniki Cup, the Winnipeg Invitational, the Simón Bolívar International, and the Mexican Olympic Festival, in addition to winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games and placing eighth at the World Championships. Earlier in the Olympic year, she stamped herself as a favorite for the Sydney gold medal when she won the NORCECA Cup, the Tofalos International in Athens, and at the Bulgarian National Championships. Jiménez retired from competition after winning gold in the 2000 Olympics, the first ever gold medal for a Mexican female in any sport. She died quite young, from a heart attack in 2013.