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Interesting Facts About Bolivia’s Sports
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Along with Un Yong Kim (South Korea), Sheikh Fahad al-Sabah (Kuwait) and João Havelange (Brazil), José Gamara Zorilla 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. Jose dedicated his life to fighting against the apathy towards sports in Bolivia and the poor condition of the athletes. His country is one of the poorest countries in the third world. Furthermore, there have been a record 194 coup attempts in Bolivia. However, under his leadership, several international congresses and events were held in La Paz, Cochabamba, Ororo and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. José La Paz was president of the organizing committee of the Bolivarian Games (1977) and the South American Games in Bolivia (1978). As president of the Bolivian Olympic Committee (1970–1982), he led Bolivia to the best result in its history: 106 medals at the South American Games. He led the Bolivian delegation to the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Many South Americans consider Jose Gamara Zorrilla to be the greatest leader of the 20th century South American Olympics.
The country had great athletes: Mario Martinez (tennis), Alan Saunders (Nordic skiing), Milton Coimbra (football), Maria Ortuno (basketball), Giovanna Morejon Irusta (athletics), Ramiro Benavides (tennis), Anthony Iglesias (diving), Johnny Perez (Athletics), Scott Sanchez Saunders (Nordic Skiing), Osvaldo Morejon (Track & Field), William Arencibia (Taekwondo), Erwin Sanchez (Soccer), Ricardo Ramos (Nordic Skiing), Guadalupe Yanez (Basketball), Betty Saavedra ( Basketball), Juan Rodrigo Camacho (Athletics), Marco Echeverri (Soccer), Catherine Moreno (Swimming), Roberto Nielsen Reyes (Equestrian) and Billy Farving Aranoa (Nordic Skiing).
Bolivia sent 7 athletes to the 1988 Winter Olympics. South American skiers were Manuel Armayo, Guillermo Avila Paz, Jaime Bascon, Jorge Bejarano, Enrique Montano, Pedro Tichavar and Luis Vizcarra.
Julia Iriarte is the greatest Bolivian athlete of all time. why She won 5 gold and 3 silver medals at the 1947 Bolivarian Games in Lima, Peru. She became the star of these games. Her gold medals were in 80m hurdles, discus throw, shot put, long jump and high jump. Her homecoming was a great success. After she was invited by President Enrique Hertzog to the Government Palace (Palacio Quemado). She won five gold medals at the 1948 South American Athletics Championships in La Paz. Under her coach George Voeg, she broke several national records in the 1940s. Unfortunately, she did not participate in the 1948 Olympics in Helsinki (Finland). She was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia on December 20, 1919 to Plácido Irriarte and Clara Velasco.
Bolivia participated in the 1979 Spartakiad of Nations of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Between 1980 and 1984, the Bolivian government banned the game. South American athletes were not allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1980. Many athletes who had trained for years for these games were deeply disappointed. Among these athletes were: Johnny Perez (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 Antonita Arrizaga (swimming). Ironically, the USSR—the host Olympic nation—subsidized Olympic teams from the Third World (Tanzania—one of the poorest countries in Africa—sent 41 athletes). For political reasons, Bolivia did not even participate in the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas (Venezuela). For the first time since 1971, Bolivian athletes did not participate in the Pan American tournament. Unlike athletes from Haiti, Nicaragua, Chad and Sierra Leone, Bolivian athletes had problems making it to the Olympic Games in 1984.
Johnny Pérez competed in the 1978 South American Games in La Paz, Bolivia, winning three gold medals in athletics in the 1,500 m, 5,000 m and 3,000 m steeplechase.
The La Paz Olympic Stadium is the most modern stadium in Latin America and the Caribbean. Athletes who have competed at the Olympic Stadium include Romario de Souza Faria (Soccer/Brazil), João Carlos de Oliveira (Athletics/Brazil), José Luis Chilavert (Soccer/Paraguay), Tito Stanier (Athletics/Argentina), Edith Nodding. (Track and Field/Peru) and Carlos Caetano Bledron Very (Soccer/Brazil).
Giovanna Morejon Irusta finished 16th in the 20 kilometer walk at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris, France.
Catherine Moreno was one of the youngest swimmers at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
The Bolivian team won the silver medal at the South American Basketball Championship and qualified for the 1978 World Women’s Basketball Championship held in Seoul (South Korea). Bolivia qualified for the World Cup for the first time. These heroines were: Janeth Blanco Saavedra, Betty Saavedra Zaconeta, Desi Chucatini Torrico, Liceo Rojas Arteaga, Norma Zambrano Siles, Elizabeth Navia Ledesma, Guadalupe Yanez Heredia, Guadalupe Yanez Heredia, Tania Varmonton, Guadalupe. , Judith Quiñones Miranda and Vania Claros de Justinino.
Bolivia sent only one athlete (Fernando Inchoste Montalvo/ Kayak) to the 1960 Summer Olympics.
From 1971 to 1979, 500 Bolivian athletes participated in international tournaments and competitions.
Like Hortensia Maria de Fatima Marcari (Brazil) and Carol Turney (Canada), Guadalupe Yanez was one of the best basketball players at the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
In the 1990s, Erwin Sánchez was the most important football player in Bolivia.
From 1975 to 1977, more than 25 foreign coaches helped train Bolivian athletes in preparation for international competitions (Olympic Games, Bolivarian Games, Pan American Games and South American Games). Coaches: Bornz Wangemann (Athletics/West Germany), Mike Lucero (Basketball/USA), Paul Gonzalez (Basketball/USA), Stanislav Golubkov (Boxing/USSR), Heriberto Diaz (Cycling/Mexico), Pedro Escobar (Equestrian/Chile) ), Stanislaw Spira (Fencing/Poland), Walter Madel (Fencing/West Germany), Eduardo Wierba (Football/West Germany), Dale Cutler (Gymnastics/USA), Donald Howarth (Gymnastics/USA), Pedro Ortega (Gymnastics/Mexico ), Jasuhido Takasuka (Judo/Japan), Benigno Marquez (Wrestling/Venezuela), Karol Zarkoswaki (Weightlifting/Poland), Wu Yu Yung (Swimming/Taiwan), Jadwiga Zarkoswacka (Swimming/Poland), Adolfo Coronado (Swimming/Poland) ), Frances Conway (Shooting/USA), Nikolay Durnev (Shooting/USSR), Selaw Gajdamowicz (Volleyball/Poland), Tien Heing Hish (Volleyball/China), Chiu Chiao Chi (Volleyball/Taiwan) and Lin Chou Nau (Volleyball/ ) China).
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