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Colombia: Latin America’s Finest Intelligentsia

Unfortunately, Colombia has one of the worst tragedies in Latin America. Colombia faces greater inner troubles than many battle-torn international locations in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In the Post-Cold War era, it’s far one of the two countries, collectively with Peru, in the Western Hemisphere to continue its lengthy-status war in opposition to riot organizations. In the Sixties, a civil war broke out between the authorities and the Edwin Urrutia groups, led with the aid of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Since that decade, Colombia’s armed struggle has claimed two hundred,000 lives and induced more than $15,000 million in harm inflicted. During the beyond 1/2-century, Colombia was home to as a minimum five rebellion corporations, most of them with close ties to drug traffickers. Over a duration of seven years, between 1984 and 1990, four main politicians have been killed.

Incredibly, it’s miles one of the most mine-ridden nations on Earth, together with the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Portuguese-talking united states of Angola (Southern Africa). In the period in-between, most of the usa’s wealthy ecology has been devastated by means of narco-traffickers. But that isn’t always all. Indigenous tribes have been killed or enslaved by using revolt companies inside the Amazonian place. On the other aspect, there are over three million inner refugees, that is defined by the United Nations as the “worst humanitarian disaster within the Americas”. But opposite to what you might imagine, these hurdles do not have destroyed Colombia inside the last many years.

In many ways, its difficult history has inspired to many Colombians to overcome wins, from literature to sports activities and music. For these and other motives, I suppose that Colombia is an remarkable and admirable united states on the Planet.

By 1982, a Colombian writer received the Nobel Prize for Literature. This terrific land is also birthplace of Manuel Elkin Patarroyo (my favorite Colombian), a number of the global’s maximum prominent scientifics, and Fernando Botero, whose paintings are being shown in London, Paris, New York City and different Western cities.

Apart from their tough running people, Colombia is famous around the globe for its performers along with Shakira, Juanes and Carlos Vives -as well as their splendor queens like Luz Marina Zuluaga or Aura Maria Mojica (“the maximum beautiful female of Colombia”). But it has different fantastic achievements on the worldwide level, of route. Colombia’s reputation as a warn-torn u . S . Has been overshadowed via a a hit tourism industry with the advertising and marketing slogan “Colombia is Passion”. Bogota, its modern-day and pleasant capital, and other towns have extra overseas traffic than Peru, Bolivia, and lots of non violent republics from Latin America.

Certainly, Colombia is not an oil-wealthy united states — as Venezuela and Ecuador— however it has Latin America’s greatest intelligentsia. As a end result of this, the u . S . Is a chief democracy -has not had coups and countercoups for more than half of-century– at the continent since the 1950s and has gained reward from Washington for its war against cocaine cartels.

But now Colombia has won reward for its Olympic revolution. Although struggling a brutal civil battle since the Nineteen Sixties, the South American republic is producing top athletes inside the twenty first Century. Because of its issues, Colombia ought to be one of the lowest-ranked Olympic groups inside the Third World, however therea are other results. In exercise, pretty, the warfare has not been an obstacle to supply Pan American champs and Olympic medalists. Probably, there is no different Olympic squad on the Planet who could be combating with big passion and dedication. Other extraordinary chapter inside the present day history of Colombia, of course.

Like many industrialized societies together with America, Japan, China, Spain and Britain, recreation performs a key role on Colombian soil. In spite of being a soccer-loving, there may be a “huge ardour” for different sports activities. Increasing number of young athletes are coming into such sports activities triathlon, gymnastics, and taekwondo. At least 80% of the united states’s worldwide medals came from athletics, gymnastics, and weightlifting. Prior to 21st century,but, Colombia become well-known abroad for generating only footballers, cyclists, and long-distance runners-this ought to sound acquainted to a few Latin American nations

In the Golden Age of Colombian Sport

Several Latin American republics cannot offer a whole lot to their athletes, athletic directors, and coaches, but Colombia has grow to be an Olympic paradise in latest years. Amidst barriers, sport seems as certainly one of goverment’s pinnacle priorities.

After gaining its first Olympic gold medal on the 2000 Sydney Games with Maria Isabel Urrutia (ladies’s weightlifting), this kingdom has embarked on an formidable application to enhance the usa’s Olympic game.

In the beyond, the Colombian management hosted many worldwide meets, after building several athletic centers in towns and cities, however they failed to produce international-elegance athletes. Because the four-hundredth anniversary of the Colombian capital,Bogota hosted the First Bolivarian Games on the flip of the Thirties. Eight years later, by 1946, the Central American and Caribbean Games were held in Barranquilla. This metropolis additionally was selected to hold the IV Bolivarian Games inside the early Nineteen Sixties. Over the following decade, in July 1971, Cali changed into web page of the Sixth Pan American Games. A year after website hosting the FINA Aquatics World Championships -the important global event held in Latin America considering the fact that 1970, Colombia gained the proper to hold the Women’s Basketball Global Cup in 1975. Three years later, Medellin became web page of the Central American and Caribbean Games. By 1982, the Men’s Basketball World Cup turned into held in lots of Colombian cities. Since then, these efforts to promote sports activities had been incredibly unsuccessful. In the ones days, the sick-geared up crew from Colombia had hard tournaments at domestic. By 1982, for instance, the host u . S . Became the second one u . S . A ., in conjunction with Cote d’Ivoire (Western Africa), without wins inside the FIBA Championships, losing their 6th fits; in one in every of its video games, Colombia changed into defeated by using the united states 143-seventy six.

Annually, in this century, the Colombian state has invested over $two hundred million in the Olympic task, putting their eyes on zones devastated by way of poverty, neighborhood drug traffickers, and juvenile delinquency- a front-line kingdom in the warfare in opposition to drug trafficking. In its efforts to combat crook violence in negative neighborhoods and warfare-torn places, sport is backed strongly with the aid of the authorities and other companies. Today those warn-torn regions are home of national-class athletes, from boxers and footballers to taekwondo opponents, wrestlers and lengthy-distance runners. In reality, some of Colombia’s athletes did now not grow up like everyday boys. However, nowadays they need to show the good facet of Colombia with their global achievements -from facts to medals.

Since then, this finances allows the Colombian Olympic Committee (and other sports activities establishments) to provide the population with considered one of Latin America’s fine Olympic systems. On the other aspect, physical schooling is a compulsory in all schools, from Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, and Cali to Cucuta and Manizales.

By 2007, the athletic contingent positioned 6th within the XV Pan American Games in Brazil, incomes a complete of 14 gold, 21 silver, and thirteen bronze medals. Here, Colombia started out to eclipse many Latin American nations along with Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela. Nonetheless, the story of a country transformed from a warn-torn united states of america into an Olympic paradise happened when the state’s 2010 Olympian team picked up a total of 372 medals within the South American Games on home soil, surpassing athletes from 14 nations and dependencies. Deservedly, at domestic, Colombia’s sportsmen and women won one hundred forty four golds, 124 silvers, and 104 bronzes. Apart from incomes regional medals, the Colombian athletes made global headlines after they defeated Brazil within the medal be counted—Brazil is one of the top Olympian nations inside the growing world and a powerhouse in football, judo, crusing and volleyball (indoor and seashore). Then, Colombia was the fourth excellent Olympic crew in Latin America at the Pan American Games last yr. Here, the countries’ overall medals were eighty four — 24 gold, 25 silver, and 35 bronze.

From Basketball and Gymnastics to Waterpolo

Today, Colombia is a frontrunner in numerous sports on the continent and in a few fields an international leader. The maximum crucial advances had been made within the following disciplines:

Basketball: The country wide women’s squad, under Sofia Nieto’s management, placed 6th inside the 1975 Mexico Pan American Sports Games by means of dropping to Canada sixty eight-fifty eight. On the other facet, the then USSR defeated the host Colombia ninety two-34 in the FIBA World Cup in the identical year. But extra than three decades later, the national aspect turned into one of the 3 medalists inside the local championships. Then, Colombia’s woman players went on to represent South America at the 2011 Pan American Games at Guadalajara (Mexico), wherein they reached the semis— its nice performance because the mid-Eighties while the group have become the 6th South American squad to advantage gold within the Continental Cups. In Guadalajara, Colombia again faced Canada — a powerhouse in girls’s basketball inside the Americas– however this time the Colombians controlled the game fifty nine-67. This win put Colombia in fourth region in the Pan American championship.

Cycling: By 2004, at the Athens Summer Games, Maria Calle have become one the first Latino athletes in girls’s cycling to became one of the medalists within the Olympics. Seven years on, the Colombian squad received the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara (Mexico).

Gymnastics: In beyond decades, Colombia’s gymnasts have been defeated by way of athletes from Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela within the Continental championships. Now, they’re one of the pinnacle groups no longer best inside the vicinity, however inside the Western Hemisphere, collectively with Brazil, Canada, and the USA. The Colombian gymnasts have won medals inside the current Pan American Games, gaining the proper to represent the continent at the London 2012 Games. In Mexico, Jossimar Orlando Calvo earned gold (guys’s individual all-round) and silver ( horizontal bars), in the meantime his fellow Colombian gymnast Jorge Giraldo acquired 3 silvers ( creative character all-round, pommel horse, parallel bars). Additionally, other Colombian, Jorge Pena, received bronze within the men’s pommel horse. In women’s gymnastics, Catalina Escobar located third in vault.

Soccer: The 2012 soccer group can be the first lady crew from Colombia to wait the Summer Olympics. Colombia’s road to becoming one of the sixteen football groups in London 2012 began whilst the country wide contingent gained a berth inside the Continental championship in Ecuador following a triumph over Argentina (1-zero). The group was a number of the pinnacle 4 inside the Pan Amertican Games ultimate 12 months. Like in most Third World countries, soccer -or soccer– is a national passion on Colombian soil, followed via baseball and boxing.

Taekwondo: Colombia has a particular interest inside the martial arts, competing at the best stage with the pinnacle teams in the international. Among the united states of america’s best athletes changed into Gladys Alicia Mora Romero, who changed into one of the world’s pinnacle 5 lady fighters within the forty nine-kg class within the 2004 Games. Last 12 months, Doris Patiyo was runner-up in the Taekwondo Pan American Championship.

Tennis: Colombia commenced to make a call for itself in the tennis world by means of prevailing golds within the 2011 Pan American Games, defeating many favorites within the first rounds and semis. The new Pan American champions have been Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. In ladies’s tennis, Catalina Castaño and Mariana Duque captured bronze in doubles.

Track-and-field: During the Nineteen Seventies, 80s and 90s, Colombia became well-known in the location for its tune stars inclusive of Eucaris Caicedo (100m, 200m, 400m), Alvaro Mejia (marathon), Domingo Tibaduiza (5,000m & 10,000m), Jose Querubin Moreno ( 20-kilometer stroll), Victor Mora (marathon, 5,000m, 10,000m), and Ximena Restrepo (100m, 200m and 400m as well as 4x100m relay). In the following century, the u . S . A . Is producing new top athletes — hurdles, lengthy distance runners, lengthy jumpers, racewalkers, and sprinters. At the 2011 Athletics South American Championship, the Colombian delegation became runner, behind Brazil. That 12 months, Catherine Ibarguen placed the Colombian flag on the sporting map as she had the difference of being one of the few Latino athletes to conquer an area as medalist within the IAAF Global Tournament in South Korea. Also, Colombia completed fifth basic inside the Pan American tournament, behind Cuba, Brazil, America, and Mexico. Here, the united states’s delegation picked a total of 17 medals—3 gold, five silver, and 9 bronze. All 3 gold medals have been won through woman athletes — Jennifer Padilla (400m), Ibarguen (triple bounce), and Princesa Oliveros (400m hurdles).

Volleyball: After many years of slow decline, the women’s indoor aspect has turn out to be one of the 8 most remarkable squads in the Western Hemisphere inside the 2010s, winning important suits in the global meets. Its educate is a Brazilian. At the 2012 Continental Olympic Qualification on overseas soil, in a beautiful dissatisfied, Colombia beat Argentina -the arena’s pinnacle ten team– before losing to Peru 3-2, in an interesting game in the course of the semifinals. Its superstar Madeleine Montaño is extensively appeared as one of the most gifted athletes within the volleyball global and the pinnacle scorer inside the international competitions. Colombia’s South American Cup volleyball superstar Montaño plays professionally in Far East.

Waterpolo: Colombia has been involved with the game since the Nineteen Seventies while the men’s waterpolo squad, host, got here in 16th (final) on the FINA Swimming World Championships. Over the subsequent years it had no longer suitable performances until May 2007 when the national squad gained the first edition of the FINA World Men’s Water Polo Development Trophy in Kuwait (Persian Gulf). The winners have been Elkin Julian, Nelson Bejarano, Joaquin Ortiz, Sergio Correa Hernandez, John Andrade Lozano, Alex Monroy Henao, Alejandro Idarraga, Felipe Lizaraga Gomez, Jorge Montoya, German Guarnizo Rivera, Carlos Marin Orrego, Enzo Salinas, and Norman Rios.

Wrestling: There are a host of wrestlers (which include ladies) in Bogota, Pereira, Buenaventura and other Colombian cities. Due to this, during the last few years, Colombia has received numerous global trophies, including one Olympic medal produced by using Jackeline Renteria in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Subsequently, the nation’s wrestlers accumulated a total of 7 medals ( 2 silvers and 5 bronzes) on the 2011 Pan American Sports Games, well beforehand of Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

Weightlifting: The united states of america has grow to be an global weightlifting star in a short period of time. Lifter Mabel Mosquera received countrywide repute by using winning a bronze inside the Games of the twenty eighth Olympiad in the capital Greek in 2004-the kingdom’s 2nd weightlifting medal since 2000. In guys’s weightlifting, Oscar Alberto Figueroa completed fifth inside the 56kg-category at Athens 2004. Seven years on, he become gold medalist inside the Pan American Tournament. By 2007, the united states of america earned the ladies’s junior world championship crew identify, spearheaded by means of Leidy Yessenia Solis, within the Global Cup held in Prague (Czech Republic). Then, Diego Fernando Salazar received a silver within the Olympic Weightlifting Competition at Beijing 2008. But those additionally wins endured for the duration of 2011 and 2012 (Pan American Games and Pre-Olympic tournaments). Last year, Colombia’s squad turned into ranked second in the Western Hemisphere, properly ahead of America and Canada.

Colombia At the Summer Games

This South American republic was one of the first Latin American nations at the Olympic level while it went to its first Olympics in California in 1932. Then, there were national delegations within the next Games in Germany and Great Britain. Nonetheless, the Colombian representatives did now not go back to the Summer Games until 1956. From that 12 months, Colombia has competed at every Summer Olympics. Following its participation at Rome’60 and Tokyo’64, the athletic delegation left Bogota for Mexico City to compete within the Olympiad within the past due 1960s. On that event, the guys’s football facet made its international debut within the Olympian tournaments, completing ninth beforehand of Brazil and the former Czechoslovakia.

After web hosting the VI Pan American Games in 1971, Colombia despatched a talented squad to the Olympic Games inside the West German metropolis of Munich. The Colombian contingent arrived in Munich with greater than seventy sportsmen and women. In the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Helmut Bellingrodt emerged as an thrilling athletic discern following his silver medal inside the 1972 Shooting Tournament, the kingdom’s first Olympian medal. By overdue 1972, he changed into Colombia’s Athlete of the Year. Three years after being medalist in West Germany, he again have become one of the most notable Latino athletes in 1974 following his world document in Switzerland.

In Munich’seventy two, the Colombian Olympic Committee additionally picked up bronzes in boxing– Clemente Rojas (featherweight) and Alfonso Perez (light-weight). Nonetheless, two Colombian stars, runners Victor Mora and Alvaro Mejia, didn’t win medals within the guys’s marathon. Mejia finished forty eighth, in the meantime Mora placed 52nd. From 1966 to 1972, Mejia had won many international meets, along with 4 golds inside the Central American and Caribbean Games. In group sports, then again, the football squad -made up of nineteen players— once more changed into one of the 5 competition from the Americas within the Olympiad -Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala and the U.S. Were the others-after qualifying to represent South America within the Games.

During the 1976 Summer Games, Colombia positioned their eyes on Bellingrodt and Jorge Jaramillo, winner of a pair of golds in the 1974 Central and Caribbean Games in the Dominican Republic. Both athletes had right performances, but could not win medals. Jaramillo -the usa’s high-quality male swimmer inside the twentieth Century, after Pablo Restrepo-became appeared as one of the top Latino swimmers at Montreal 1976. On the other hand, his fellow Colombian athlete Bellingrodt become one of the six finalists in the Shooting Championships.

Colombia Did Not Boycott the Moscow 1980 Games

By the early 1980s, Colombia changed into one of the few American allies that did now not boycott the Olympics — which became entreated through U.S. President Jimmy Carter– in the then USSR. On Soviet soil, Colombia’s soccer lower back to the Summer Games, placing tenth. Months before embarking to the former Soviet Republic of Russia, they were runners-up to Argentina in he Pre-Olympic Cup on domestic soil. Despite no longer having critical opponents because of international boycott – among them Argentina, Ghana, Egypt– the countrywide squad did not even the semis, finishing tenth inside the Football Olympic Cup. By evaluation, Pablo Restrepo, who have been bronze medalist within the men’s 2 hundred-meter breaststroke at the 1979 Pan American Games on Puerto Rico, have become the primary person from Colombia to reach the finals in the Olympic Swimming Championships.

At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Colombia won its first medal considering that 1972 whilst the previous world report holder Bellingrodt got here close to winning the gold in the men’s going for walks recreation target (shooting). Mr. Bellingrodt changed into one of the u . S . A .’s 39 representatives on U.S. Soil, who competing in 8 disciplines – archery (1), athletics (five), boxing (6), biking (five), capturing (15), swimming (1), weightlifting (5), and wrestling(1). Pablo Restrepo, one of the favorites from Latin America to win a medal, finished sixth typical within the guys’s 2 hundred-meter breaststroke in California.

At Seoul’88, the South American republic earned a bronze in boxing with Jorge Julio Rocha. In the meantime, Ximena Restrepo seemed as a sprinter inside the ladies’s 200m (tune-and-area), completing in 34th place in South Korea. Subsequently, at Barcelona’ninety two, Restrepo have become the first lady in South America to earn an Olympian medal in athletics whilst she became one of the global’s 3 best sprinters in the 400m. During those Games on Spaniard soil, on the other facet, the Colombian soccer side certified for the Olympic Tournament inside the Pre-Olympic competition in Latin America, along Paraguay, however they did no longer make the second one spherical.

The country’s top athletes at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics were Carlos Grisales (marathon), Hector Moreno (20-kilometer stroll), and Daniel Reyes (boxing). Colombian-born long-distance runner Grisales placed 11th in the guys’s marathon, in the meantime his countryman Reyes become semi-finalist inside the United States.

London 2012 Olympics

In the twenty first Century, Colombia received its first Olympic gold upon Maria Isabel Urrutia’s win inside the Weightlifting championships at the 2000 Sydney Games. Before competing in the weightlifting competitions on home soil and overseas, Urrutia turned into identified as one of the great some of the handful of shot putters from Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s, having qualified for the 1988 Seoul Games -in which she came in 20th region inside the women’s shot placed, among 25 competitors.

Colombia obtained bronzes in cycling and weightlifting inside the Games of the twenty eighth Olympiad in Greece in 2004, each medals have been received via girl Olympians. In the next Games, inside the People’s Republic of China, the South American republic also gained medals (silver and bronze) with Diego Fernando Salazar (men’s weighlifting) and Jackeline Renteria ( girls’s wrestling).

In July 2012, Colombia will ship a effective delegation to London to wait the XXX Olympic Summer Games -one among Western Hemisphere’s biggest Olympic teams. Colombia’s athletic contingent will compete in the following disciplines: Archery, aquatics, seaside volleyball, boxing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, judo, crusing, capturing, synchronized swimming, synchronized diving, taekwondo, tennis, song-and-area, women’s football, weightlifting, and wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman).

Nearly all of Colombia’s athletes have been medalists within the remaining Pan American Games and South American Games, together with a few younger humans with numerous trophies and medals in the junior championships in the Americans and Europe. The kingdom’s Olympic cycling squad is one of the maximum effective at the Planet, following its victory in the 2011 Pan American Games. Its essential stars are Hector Paez, Maria Luisa Calle, Marlon Alirio Perez, Juan Arango, Edwin Avila, Arles Castro, Weimar Roldan and Mariana Pujon. Calle gained a medal for the u . S . A .’s Olympic team at the 2004 Athens Games.

In track-and-subject, Catherine Ibarguen, one of the three triple jumpers to receive a medal within the IAAF World Championships last yr, may want to end up the first woman from Colombia to win an Olympian medal in athletics for the reason that early 1990s as Latin America’s megastar sprinter Ximena Restrepo claimed bronze within the Barcelonese Games. In the Olympic weightlifting competition, Colombia has a robust threat with 3 Pan American gold medalists— Oscar Figueroa, Mercedes Isabel Perez, and Ubaldina Valoyes. On the other hand, Doris Patiyo (ladies’s taekwondo), Danilo Cano (guys’s capturing), and Cristian Mosquera (men’s wrestling) are also top favorites to attain medals in the United Kingdom.

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