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Sports in Guatemala – Birthplace of Mateo Flores!
Like Miguel Angel Asturias (1967 Nobel Prize for Literature) and Rigoberta Menchu (1992 Nobel Prize in Peace), Mateo Flores is one of the national heroes of Guatemala, a Spanish-speaking nation. On April 19, 1952, Mr Flores made international headlines when he, a worker, won the Boston Marathon (with a time of 2hrs, 31 min., and 53 sec.), ahead of his compatriot Luis Velasquez and Victor Dyrgall of New York.Sports in Trinidad & Tobago – A Dark Horse!
By 2008, TT’s swimmer George Bowell was selected the flag bearer of the Olympic delegation for the 29th Summer Olympics in the People’s Republic of China. His selection was based on his international reputation. Four years ago, Bowell, an American-trained swimmer, had captured the bronze medal in the men’s 200m individual medley in the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece; the Caribbean’s first swimming medal since 1996. This notable son of Trinidad & Tobago, a white athlete, swam the 200-meter individual medley in an impressive 1:58.80, breaking the old mark of 1: 58.98 set by Italy’s Olympic champ Massimiliano Rosolino in Sydney 2000.Sports in Jamaica – Ambition, Discipline and Talent!
Cyclist David Weller earned a bronze medal in the Games of the XXII Olympiad in the early 1980s; Caribbean’s first Olympic medal since the competition was established in 1896. He began to make a name for himself in cycling in the mid-1970s when he was runner-up at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, behind Joselyn Lovell of Canada (gold medal).Sports in Barbados – An Olympic Diamond in the Caribbean!
Ryan Brathwaite has become a national hero since 2009, when he, inspired by Obadele Thompson, earned a gold medal for placing first in the men’s 110 hurdles at the IAAF World Championships. He became the first athlete from Barbados to win a world title. He was a virtual unknown before the 2009 World Championships.Ecuador – Women & Sports!
By the mid-1970s, Mariuxi Febres-Cordero, 15, picked up a total of five individual golds medals in the South American Swimming Championship in Maldonado, Uruguay. She captured the 100m freestyle (in a time of 1: 02,69), the 200m freestyle (2: 12, 66), the 400m freestyle (4:34,73), the 800m freestyle (9:28,63), and the 400m individual medley ( 5:19,85). The Guayaquil-born swimmer also won one silver medal in the 200 meter individual medley, behind Lilian Arce (Peru).Guadeloupe – Home to World-Class Athletes!
Guadeloupe is home to many world-class athletes since the 1990s. The Island’s athlete Marie-José Perec, for example, was one of the best international sprinters of the 20th century. During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (Georgia, U.S.), Perec won the 200m and the 400m in Olympic record time of 48.25 seconds. Under the flag of France, she became the second female, after Valerie Brisco-Hooks (Los Angeles 1984), to win both these events in one Olympics. Four years ago, she captured a gold medal in the 400m in the Olympic Games in Spain.Sports & Women – The Peruvian Volleyball Team!
At the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, USSR (now Russia), the women’s volleyball squad, led by its world-class player Cecilia Tait Villacorta, came close to winning the gold medal. In the final, Peru (South American champion) lost 3-0 to the Soviet Union (Olympic gold medal in 1980). The USSR and Peru were followed by America (bronze medal), Japan, North Korea, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, West Germany, in that order.Nations of the World – Athletes & Sports!
Did you know – Argentine-born basketball player Juan Domingo de la Cruz competed for Spain at the 1980 Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union. He also participated in three European Championships (1977, 1979, and 1981).Sports in the Bahamas – A Notable Olympic Nation!
Sprinter Derrick Atkins obtained a silver medal for placing second in the men’s 100, behind Tyson Gay (America), in the IAAF World Championships in Japan in 2007. In that race, he set one of the best records of the Caribbean: 9.91 seconds!Americas – Women & Sports
The United States hosted the Women’s Football World Cup in the late 1990s. The host nation’s team won the gold medal, followed by the People’s Republic of China (silver), and Brazil (bronze). On July 10, 1999, in the final, the States defeated China 5-4 (penalty kicks). At the previous World Cup in Sweden in 1995, the team of America came in third place.Sports in Africa – Birthplace of John Akii-Bua!
The National Olympic Committee has made enormous efforts to compete at the Summer Olympic Games in the last four decades. The modern state of Madagascar has not had great Olympic champs, like many African countries between 1960 and 2008, but it was home to the legendary athlete Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa, the “King of Madagascar”, who was one of the world’s top ten sprinters in the late 1960s and early 1970s (by 1971, he was the third best sprinter). Because of this, Mr Ravelomanantsoa is the greatest Malagasy athlete of all time.