Welcome to our new series, where we take a look at the best current athletes from the main Latam countries.
These are some of the best Colombian athletes. / Photos: YT / Olympic, IG / nairoquincoficial
LatinamericanPost| Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Grandes Atletas Latinoamericanos: edición Colombia
We all know the great European and American athletes, but what about the South Americans? Our new series, Great Latinamerican Athletes, seeks to introduce you to the best current athletes of the most important Latin American countries. People that pursue sports as a career in Latam often face more economic difficulties than in first-world countries, and receive less government assistance, so in some ways, their careers are more of a miracle, especially when they get to shine on the international stage. They deserve as much recognition as their European or American counterparts, if not more.
So to honor them, without further ado, let's start with the best current athletes from Colombia, the coffee country
Caterine Ibargüen. Sport: Athletics
Ibargüen is beloved by the Colombian people because she shines in a sport that few in her country do: athletics. Her specialty is the triple-jump, but she also competes in the high jump and long jump. She won a gold medal in the 2016 summer Olympics with a 15.17m triple jump, and also won silver in the same event in the 2012 edition. She was recognized as “Female athlete of the year” by the International Association of Athletics Federations and has her eyes set on winning gold again in the upcoming Japan Olympics.
Nairo Quintana. Sport: Cyclist
Egan Bernal, last year’s tour de France winner, may be the Colombian cyclist of the moment, but Nairo Quintana has been the name of the game for almost a decade. Of humble origins, this 30 year old man has won both the Giro d’Italia in 2014 (becoming the first Colombian to do so) and the Vuelta a España in 2016. Currently, he is the fourth best-paid cyclist in the world, as well as the pride of his humble department, Boyaca.
James Rodriguez. Sport: Soccer
Maybe the most well-known name in this list, Rodriguez is one of the best -if not the best- soccer players of the last 10 years in the coffee country. Recently, he has been in the news for his excellent performance at his new team Everton, but he has been making waves since 2014, when he scored 6 goals at the World Cup and won the Golden Boot.
Mariana Pajón. Sport: BMX
Pajón was the first Colombian woman to win two gold medals, in the 2012 and 2016 edition of the games, and with only 29 years she still has no end in sight for her career. She is perhaps the most fun to watch of the 4 because of her daring personality.