Americas – Sports & Athletes!

Road to London 2012!
Did you know- A 105-member team from Argentina participated in the Summer Olympics in the German city of Munich in the early 1970s. This Spanish-speaking nation competed in 12 sports: athletics (10), boxing (7), cycling (8), equestrian (11), fencing (6), field hockey (18), judo (1), rowing (18), sailing (12), shooting (5), swimming (6), and wrestling (3).
Did you know- In the late 70s and early 80s, Bolivia’s tennis player Mario Martinez defeated such formidable international players as Mats Wilander (Sweden), Jimmy Arias (USA), Andrés Gómez (Ecuador), and José Higueras (Spain).
Did you know- Brazil’s triple jumper Adhemar Ferreira da Silva won the Pan American tournament three fives: Buenos Aires ’51, Mexico City ’55, and Chicago ’59.
Did you know- Canada is one of the biggest and oldest members of the Olympic family.
Did you know- In Bern (Switzerland), Colombia’s shooter Helmut Bellingrodt set a new world record in 1974. Despite beating a record that had stood for many years, Bellingrodt failed to win an Olympic medal at the 1976 Olympic Summer in Montreal, Canada.
Did you know- Ecuador’s swimmer Jorge Delgado Panchana, under coach Jack Nelson’s tutelage, led a national delegation to the XXI Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) in the mid-1970s. In Montreal’76, Mr Delgado was one of Latin America’s best swimmers, together with Djan Madruga (Brazil), María del Milagro París (Costa Rica), and Carlos Berrocal (Puerto Rico). At the 1975 Pan American Games in the United Mexican States, he placed first in the men’s 200-meter freestyle, winning a gold medal for Ecuador. He was named Ecuador’s Athlete of 1976. Delgado hails from Guayaquil, home to the IV FINA World Championships (1982).
Did you know- Grenada, an English-speaking Island on the Caribbean, is one of the smallest members of the Olympic family, together with Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu, and other nations.
Did you know- By 1977, the Peruvian team, led by Luisa Fuentes Quijandria-one of the Continent’s best players in the 70s– won the Women’s Volleyball South American Championship, followed by Brazil (silver medal), Argentina (bronze medal), Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In addition to gaining the international event, Peru earned the right to compete in the II World Cup in Tokyo (Japan) in November 1977. Later on, by 1979, the team from South America won the silver medal in women’s volleyball at the VIII Pan American Games in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
Did you know- Uruguay’s weightlifter Sergio Lafuente Rocha led a 23-member delegation to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona (Spain). In Europe, Lafuente came in eighth place.
Did you know- At the IX Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1983, the host country’s team reached 5th place, winning a total of 73 Pan American medals (12 gold, 26 silver, 35 bronze), outpacing Mexico and Argentina.
Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women’s rights, among them “History of the Women in America” and “Famous Americans.”

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