Sports in Colombia includes professional sports leagues, as well as amateur leagues for numerous sports. Football, cycling, and roller skating are the most popular sports in Colombia.[1] The Government of Colombia sponsors numerous individuals and teams nationally and internationally through the Ministry of Culture to enable sportspeople to represent Colombia in competition. The achievements of professional sportspeople are a source of national pride for Colombians.

Football edit

The Colombia national football team against Brazil in Bogotá, Colombia
Football is the most popular sport in Colombia. In the picture, a match is being held in Barranquilla.

The Colombian Football Federation was founded in 1924 and has been associated with FIFA and CONMEBOL since 1936. Colombia's national team participated in a FIFA World Cup in 1962, followed by others in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2014 and 2018. Its best presentation was in 2014, when the team reached the quarter-finals and James Rodríguez became top scorer of the tournament. The only "olympic goal" (a goal made directly from one corner shot) in the World Cup was scored for Colombia by Marcos Coll, beating legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin in a 4–4 draw with the Soviet Union in 1962. A golden era existed for the national team from the mid-1980s towards the late 1990s when it became one of the most powerful teams in football, with a generation of talented players such as Carlos Valderrama, Andrés Escobar, René Higuita and Faustino Asprilla.

Colombia was the champion of the 2001 Copa América, which they hosted and set a new record of being undefeated, conceding no goals and winning each match. Prior to that success, they were runners-up to Peru in the 1975 Copa América. Colombia was the first team to win FIFA best mover in 1993 where the achievement was first introduced (with some help from their famous 5-0 thrashing of South American powerhouse Argentina at the qualifiers for the 1994 FIFA World Cup) and the second team after Croatia to win it twice, with the second being in 2013.[2] Colombia also hosted the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup and is to host the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup. Colombia was organized to host the 2020 Copa América with Argentina. However, on May 20, 2020, Colombia was removed due to the 2021 Colombian protests, and Argentina was later removed due to COVID-19 issues. Brazil became the host for the cup.

The nation also qualified for the 1968, 1972, 1980, and 1992 Summer Olympics. Throughout the years, many Colombians have also worked for leagues in other nations. The national clubs compete in the Categoría Primera A, which also participates in international tournaments like Copa Libertadores de América upon winning or finishing in the first places. In club football, Atlético Nacional became the first Colombian club team to win the Copa Libertadores in 1989 and later in 2016. Once Caldas were the surprise winners of the 2004 Copa Libertadores and the second Colombian team to do so.

Cycling edit

Nairo Quintana: Colombian Champion of the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.
Mariana Pajón is a Colombian cyclist, two-time Olympic gold medalist and BMX World Champion.

Cycling in Colombia became very popular with the beginning of the annual Vuelta a Colombia race in 1951, followed by the annual Clásico RCN starting in 1961. The triumphs of Martín Emilio "Cochise" Rodríguez in European cycling competitions increased the sport's popularity, which in turn helped to develop the Colombian Cycling Federation. Rodriguez was followed by professional Colombian cyclists known as the "Colombian beetles", which include up to this date Luis "Lucho" Herrera, Luis Felipe Laverde, Fabio Parra, Víctor Hugo Peña, Santiago Botero, Mauricio Soler. The "escarabajo" (beetle) nickname was coined by radio announcer José Enrique Buitrago, while watching Ramón Hoyos climb a hill ahead of French professional racer José Beyaert during the 1955 Vuelta a Colombia.[3]

Colombian cycling has enjoyed a renaissance in the early 2010s, with Colombian riders enjoying international success.[4][5][6][7] One of the factors cited for this success has been the establishment of the 4-72 Colombia cycling team (formerly known as Colombia es Pasión-Café de Colombia), which has developed several cyclists who have gone on to compete for UCI Worldteams.[5][8] The government-backed Colombia-Coldeportes cycling team competed at the 2013 Giro d'Italia, and was the first all-Colombian team to do so for 21 years.[6] The team aimed to secure UCI ProTeam status and compete in the Tour de France,[9] however the team announced its disbanding in October 2015 due to the withdrawal of financial support from Coldeportes, the Colombian government's sports ministry. Riders who graduated to the UCI World Tour from the team included Esteban Chaves and Darwin Atapuma.[10] High-profile riders emerging in this period include Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Urán, Sergio Henao, Carlos Betancur and Mariana Pajón. The two main strongholds of the sport in Colombia are the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the centre of the country and Antioquia in the west, both being mountainous regions.[11]

During the 1990s, the government of the Colombian capital, Bogotá introduced the Ciclovía, which became popular and were introduced later into other Colombian cities. The government of Bogotá later built Bogotá's Bike Paths Network to sponsor the practice of sports by the population and to curb the city's increasing pollution by drivers. The network extends throughout the city with bicycle use increasing five times in the city. There is an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 trips made daily in Bogotá by bicycle.[12]

Champions edit

Martial arts edit

Boxing edit

Professional boxing in Colombia is mostly practiced in Caribbean region and the Pacific Region. Boxing in Colombia was also introduced by Europeans in the late 19th century and became popular in Latin America in the early 20th century, and in Colombia became popular in the 1960s, with the triumphs of Antonio "Kid Pambele" Cervantes who became a two time world Jr. Welterweight champion. He was then followed by boxers like Prudencio Cardona, Rodrigo Valdéz, Fidel Bassa, and many more. The success of these boxers created a fan base and many Colombians started to follow the sport. The National Boxing Commission of Colombia (Comisión Nacional de Boxeo de Colombia) was created and regulated the practice of boxing in Colombia.

In the 1980s, the success of Miguel "Happy" Lora reigned in the bantam weight division (118 pounds) -WBC- from 1985 to 1988 and the silver medal in the Pan American Games of Carlos José Tamara. Another boxers have figured internationally and won some titles such as Ener Julio, Joel Julio, among others.

During the 1990s, surged Irene "Mambaco" Pacheco who became a world champion in the IBF Flyweight category, and in the 2000s, Fulgencio Zúñiga current IBO Super middleweight champion, recently, Yuberjen Martinez won the silver medal in Rio 2016.

Champions edit

Roller skating edit

With the introduction of inline skates in Colombia during the 1990s, roller skating became widely practiced throughout most of the main cities in the country. It was mostly popular in the main and medium size cities such as Cartagena, Cali, Bogotá, Pasto, Barrancabermeja, Barranquilla, Medellín, and Valledupar. [12]

Colombia is a hub for roller skaters. The national team is a perennial powerhouse at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships and has won the overall title nine times in the past 12 years. Colombia also exports state-of-the-art technology in this sport.[13][14]

Notable edit

Cecilia Baena, female Inline speed skating world champion
  • Claudia Ruizm Female Inline speed skating world champion 300 meters, 1990
  • Luz Mery Tristan, Female Inline speed skating world champion 5,000 meters, 1990
  • Guillermo Leon Botero, Inline speed skating world champion 20,000 meters, 1990
  • Luis Eduardo Moreno, Inline speed skating world champion in China, 300 meters
  • Liana Holguín, Female Inline speed skating world champion in China
  • Andrés Felipe Muñoz, 15,000 meters Inline speed skating Junior world champion in Abruzzo, 2004 in China 2005
  • Brigitte Méndez, Female Inline speed skating world champion, 15.000 m elimination, Abruzzo (Italy) 2004, Sushou (China) 2005, 1.000 m line Sushou (China) 2005
  • Juan Nayib Tobón, Multiple World champion Inline speed skating in China
  • Silvia Natalia Niño, Multiple Inline speed skating world champion
  • Diego Rosero, Multiple Inline speed skating world champion
  • Cecilia Baena, Female Inline speed skating world champion
  • Berenice Moreno, Female Inline speed skating world champion
  • Jorge Botero, Inline speed skating world champion
  • Jennifer Caicedo, Female Inline speed skating world champion, 500 meters Duisburg (Germany), and Suzhou (China), and in Barquisimeto (Venezuela)
  • Edwin Guevara, Inline speed skating world champion, 1996, 1998
  • Anderson Ariza, Inline speed skating world champion, 2002
  • Alexandra Vivas, Female Inline speed skating world champion, 10,000 meters (Italy) 2004
  • Nelson Garzon, Inline speed skating world champion, 10,000 meters points, 2006
  • Jersy Puello, Inline speed skating world champion, 200 m and 1.000 m (Italy) 2004
  • Carolina Upegui, Inline speed skating world champion, 15,000 meters (Italy) 2004
  • Kelly Martinez, Inline speed skating junior world champion, 15,000 meters Barquisimeto (Venezuela) 2003
  • Jorge Cifuentes, Inline speed skating junior world champion, 1.000 m, 500 m J (Italy) 2004
  • Martin Cardenas, National Skating Champion 100 m child (Colombia) 2003.
  • Sara Vallejo World Figure Skating Champion Youth 200 m (Colombia) 2007.
  • Maria Claudia salazar skating 15,000 m Youth 2007
  • Ahmed Hamed 300 m skating world Champion Palestina youth 2007

Motorsports edit

Juan Pablo Montoya gained worldwide fame participating in the most popular motorsport competitions of Europe and the United States.

Juan Pablo Montoya is the most successful racing driver from Colombia. He is one of only three drivers to have won races in American open-wheel car racing, Formula One, and NASCAR, along with Americans Dan Gurney and Mario Andretti. Montoya was the CART champion in 1999, and is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, in 2000 and 2015.

Basketball edit

Colombia hosted the 1982 Basketball World Cup, one of the most watched events the country has ever hosted. Since then, the country's basketball team has declined a bit. Throughout the decades, Colombia produced several internationally recognized players such as Juan Palacios, who has played in several of Europe's elite competitions and Braian Angola who recently became the first Colombian player Drafted in the NBA.

Chess edit

Athletics edit

Caterine Ibargüen. Her notable achievements include a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, two gold medals in the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, and two gold medals in the 2011 Pan American Games and 2015 Pan American Games.

Baseball edit

Édgar Rentería, former MLB shortstop.

Bowling edit

Golf edit

Currently, Camilo Villegas is the most recognized Colombian golfer in the world. He has been a PGA Tour professional in the United States since 2006. In 2008, Villegas was the first PGA Tour player in 11 years to win his first two PGA Tour events back-to-back. He is currently among the top 10 ranked golfers in the world, according to the Official World Golf Rankings.

Marisa Baena was the inaugural champion of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship in 2005.

Camilo Benedetti, Diego Vanegas, and Manuel "Manny" Villegas (the younger brother of Camilo Villegas) are currently playing professional golf in the United States on the Nationwide Tour, with hopes of eventually graduating to the PGA Tour. David Vanegas is playing on the equivalent Challenge Tour with the prospect of promotion to the European Tour.

Weightlifting edit

Óscar Figueroa won Olympic Gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Olympic wrestling edit

Rugby league edit

Although Rugby league is a minor sport in Colombia they have a national team.

Tennis edit

Shooting edit

Winter sports edit

The skating federation has started to develop ice sports, including bandy,[17] ice hockey[1], short track[2] and speed skating[3]

Tejo edit

Tejo is the national sport of Colombia.

Beach volleyball edit

Colombia featured a women's national team in beach volleyball that competed at the 2018–2020 CSV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup.[18]

Climbing edit

Colombia is also a popular destination for technical rock climbing, with opportunities for bouldering, sport climbing, trad climbing and a mix of styles. The town of Suesca is surrounded by established rock climbs and draws climbers from all over the world.[19]

Athletes in other sports edit

A composite dive from Orlando Duque.

Medals by Games edit

Global Games edit

Colombia at the Deaflympics0011
Colombia at the INAS Global Games7029
Colombia at the Military World Games0011
Colombia at the Olympics591428
Colombia at the Paralympics381223
Colombia at the Universiade13711
Colombia at the World Games29402695
Colombia at the Youth Olympic Games77519
Totals (8 entries)526768187

Regional Games edit

Colombia at the Pan American Games136170262568
Colombia at the Parapan American Games98113115326
Totals (2 entries)234283377894

Sub Regional Games edit

Colombia at the South American Beach Games891330
Colombia at the South American Games5034234001326
Colombia at the South American Para Games334347123
Colombia at the South American Youth Games715357181
Totals (4 entries)6155285171660

Inter Regional Games edit

Colombia at the ALBA Games77125184386
Colombia at the Bolivarian Games1399131310673779
Colombia at the Central American and Caribbean Games5306166561802
Colombia at the Ibero American Games0011
Totals (4 entries)2006205419085968

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Colombia vive esplendor deportivo inédito en su historia" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  2. ^ Spain finish 2012 on top, Colombia in fifth. (19 December 2012). Retrieved on 19 December 2012
  3. ^ "¿Por qué llaman escarabajos a los ciclistas colombianos?". El Espectador. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Colombia undergoes cycling boom". 12 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b Beal, Anthony (9 May 2013). "Antbanter: The Colombian Revolution". VeloVoices. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  6. ^ a b "A Call To Arms". 20 May 2013. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  7. ^ "What's next for Colombian cycling?". Cycling Inquisition. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  8. ^ Lindsey, Joe (7 May 2013). "Here Come the Colombians". Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  9. ^ Wallace, Arturo (4 May 2013). "Giro team revives Colombia's passion for pedalling". Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Colombia-Coldeportes team forced to fold". 15 October 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  11. ^ "¿Por qué los colombianos son tan buenos en ciclismo?" [Why are Colombians so good at cycling?]. (in Spanish). 1 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Sports in Colombia". Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
  13. ^ "Patinaje colombiano, el más ganador del mundo" (in Spanish). Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  14. ^ "Colombian skating will export state-of-the-art technology". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Anthony Zambrano follows in Ximena Restrepo's footsteps, wins silver in men's 400 meter final". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Silver went to Sandra Arenas of Colombia in 1:29:37". athleticsweekly. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Continental Cup Finals start in Africa". FIVB. 22 June 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Rock Climbing in Colombia".