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Interesting Facts About Bolivia’s Sports
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Like Un Yong Kim (South Korea), Sheik Fahad Al-Sabah (Kuwait) and Joao Havelange (Brazil), José Gamarra Zorrilla was one of the best Olympic leaders in the Third World. He played a major role in promoting the values of sport in Bolivia and Latin America. José dedicated his life to fight against indifference towards sports and the miserable condition of the athletes in Bolivia. His country is one of the poorest countries of the Third World. Furthermore, Bolivia has had a record 194 attempted coups. However, under his leadership, several international congresses and events were organized in La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. José was president of the Organizing Committee for the Bolivarian Games of La Paz (1977) and for the South American Games in Bolivia (1978). As president of the Bolivian Olympic Committee (1970-1982), he led Bolivia to the best result ever in its history: 106 medals in the South American Games. He headed the Bolivian delegation at the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Many South Americans consider José Gamarra Zorrilla to be the greatest South American Olympic leader of the 20th century.
This country had great players: Mario Martinez (tennis), Alan Saunders (Nordic skiing), Milton Coimbra (football), Maria Ortuno (basketball), Giovanna Morejon Irusta (athletics), Ramiro Benavides (tennis), Anthony Iglesias (football), Johnny Pérez (athletics), Scott Sanchez Saunders (Nordic skiing), Oswaldo Morejon (track and field), William Arencibia (taekwondo), Erwin Sánchez (football), Ricardo Ramos (Nordic skiing) , Guadalupe Yañez (basketball), Betty Saavedra (basketball), Juan Rodrigo Camacho (athletics), Marco Etcheverry (soccer), Katherine Moreno (swimming), Roberto Nielsen Reyes (riding) and Billy Farwing Aranoa (skiing Nordic).
Bolivia sent 7 sportsmen to the 1988 Winter Olympics. The South American skiers were Manuel Aramayo, Guillermo Avila Paz, Jaime Bascon, Jorge Bejarano, Enrique Montaño, Pedro Tichaver and Luis Vizcarra.
Julia Iriarte is the greatest Bolivian athlete of all time. Why? He won 5 gold medals and 3 silver medals at the 1947 Bolivarian Games in Lima, Peru. He became the star of the Games. Her gold medals were in the 80m hurdles, discus throw, shot put, long jump and high jump. His homecoming was a huge success. After she was invited by the president Enrrique Hertzog to the Government Palace (Palacio Quemado). He also won five gold medals at the South American Athletics Championships in La Paz in 1948. Under his coach, George Voeg, he broke several national records during the 1940s. Unfortunately, he did not compete in the 1948 Olympic Games in Helsinki (Finland). He was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia on December 20, 1919 to Placido Iriarte and Clara Velasco.
Bolivia participated in the 1979 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Nations Spartakiade.
Between 1980 and 1984, the Bolivian government destroyed the sport. The athletes from South America were not allowed to compete in the Olympic Games in 1980. Many sportsmen who had trained for years for the Games felt very frustrated. Among these athletes were: Johnny Pérez (track and field), Luis Dario Vasquez (fencing), Mary Rojas (athletics), Walter Quiroga (shooting), Linda Spents (track and field), Isidro Guarachi (boxing), Walter Quispe ( boxing). ), Edgar Cueto (cycling), Jean Young Kim Song (judo) and Antonieta Arizaga (swimming). Ironically, the Soviet Union – the Olympic host nation – subsidized Third World Olympic teams (Tanzania – one of Africa’s poorest countries – sent 41 players). For political reasons, Bolivia did not participate in the 1983 Pan-American Games in Caracas (Venezuela). For the first time since 1971, athletes from Bolivia did not participate in a Pan American. Unlike athletes from Haiti, Nicaragua, Chad and Sierra Leone, Bolivian athletes had problems getting to the 1984 Olympics.
Johnny Perez took part in the 1978 South American Games in La Paz, Bolivia, winning three gold medals in athletics, in 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase races.
The La Paz Olympic Stadium is one of the most modern in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the athletes who have competed in the Olympic Stadium are Romario de Souza Faria (football / Brazil), Joao Carlos de Oliveira (athletics / Brazil), José Luis Chilavert (football / Paraguay), Tito Stenier (athletics / Argentina ), Edith Noeding (track and field/ Peru) and Carlos Caetano Bledron Verri (football/ Brazil).
Giovanna Morejon Irusta finished 16th in the 20 kilometer walk at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris, France.
Katherine Moreno was one of the youngest swimmers at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
The Bolivian team won the silver medal in the South American Basketball Championship and qualified for the Women’s Basketball World Championship in 1978 in Seoul (South Korea). Bolivia qualified for a world tournament for the first time. The heroines were: Janeth Blanco Saavedra, Betty Saavedra Zaconeta, Daysy Chucatini Torrico, Liceo Rojas Arteaga, Norma Zambrano Siles, Elizabeth Navia Ledesma, Guadalupe Yañez Heredia, Tania Claros Vargas, Antonie Torresta Gudmanson , Judith Quiñones Miranda and Vania Claros de Justinino.
Bolivia sent only one athlete (Fernando Inchauste Montalvo/ kayak) to the Summer Olympics in 1960.
Between 1971 and 1979, 500 Bolivian athletes participated in international tournaments and competitions.
Like Hortencia Maria de Fatima Marcari (Brazil) and Carol Turney (Canada), Guadalupe Yañez was one of the best basketball players in the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
Erwin Sanchez was one of Bolivia’s most important soccer players in the 1990s.
Between 1975 and 1977, more than 25 foreign coaches helped train Bolivian sportsmen to prepare for the international competitions (Olympic Games, Bolivarian Games, Pan American Games and South American Games). The coaches were: Bornj Wangemann (athletics/ West Germany), Mike Lucero (basketball/ USA), Paul Gonzalez (basketball/ USA), Stanislav Golubkov (boxing/ USSR), Heriberto Diaz (cycling/ Mexico) , Pedro Escobar (equestrian / Chile), Stanislav Spyra (fencing / Poland), Walter Madel (fencing / West Germany), Eduardo Virba (football / West Germany), Dale Cutler (gymnastics / USA), Donald Howorth (gymnastics / USA), Pedro Ortega (gymnastics / Mexico), Jasuhido Takasuka (judo / Japan), Benigno Marquez (wrestling / Venezuela), Karol Czarkoswki (weightlifting / Poland), Wu Yu Yung (swimming / Taiwan), Yadwiga Czarkoswka (swimming / Poland), Adolfo Coronado (swimming / Ecuador ), Francis Conway (shooting / USA), Nicolay Durnev (shooting / Soviet Union), Cselaw Gajdamovicz (volleyball / Poland), Tien Heing Hisch (ball- volleyball/China), Chiu Chiao Chi (volleyball/Taiwan) and Lin Chou Nou (volleyball/ China).
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