Underwater rugby, ultimate and parkour are some of the sports that are practiced in Latin America at a very high level.
Photo: IG-Orcas Uwrugby
LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Felipe Bedoya
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Leer en español: Deportes no tradicionales en los que Latinoamérica es potencia
Different sports are practiced in Latin America. It is usual to know, read or see about soccer, tennis, basketball or baseball, but there are also some disciplines that are beginning to be practiced much more frequently and are gaining strength throughout the world. Here are some sports you may not have known about:
This sport that despite having the word rugby (a sport already known worldwide) really has very little or nothing to do with it. In addition, its creation is recent. It is said that it was born in Europe while some German divers were training their physical resistance. This modality is practiced in a pool between 4 and 5 meters. The object of the game is to score a ball that is 40 centimeters in diameter. Likewise, there are two teams of six players, who need a lot of strength, agility and especially lung resistance.
It is considered an underwater activity and in countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Peru it has had a great boom, even reaching federations that endorse it. The Colombians are the most prominent at present, since in 2019 they were enshrined Men's World Champions and Women's Third Place. Meanwhile, they will defend the title in July this year at the World Cup to be held in Montreal, Canada.
The ultimate is a sport that is played on a field with approximately the same measurements as soccer. This discipline is played without contact and in teams of seven players. It is practiced with a disc with the final objective of scoring a “goal” by catching the disc in the end zone of the field (one on each side). The sport has grown significantly over the past few years in Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. All of these have national leagues where championships are held.
In Venezuela, it began several years ago and was the first Latin American team to play in a World Cup (Toronto 1991). In addition, in Colombia, there is a women's team that is one of the most recognized worldwide. This is Revolution Ultimate, in which some of the best players in the world are: Yina Cartagena, Manuela Cárdenas, Valeria Cárdenas, Ximena Montaña and Maria Paula Santos. This same team managed to be world champion in the World Cup of Ultimate Frisbee Clubs (WUCC, for its acronym in English) in Ohio, United States.
Parkour is considered an extreme discipline that was born in France in the early eighties in an urban spot. However, it was in 2022 when the first World Cup of this competition was held in Tokyo, where the Mexican Ella Bucio hung the gold medal in the freestyle modality. Born in Mexico City, at just 25 years old, she is a benchmark for sport and her country.
This shows us the level and importance that Latin American athletes have in the world. This happens not only in traditional sports, but in modalities that are rarely talked about. However, they are of great importance to strengthen sport on the continent and encourage more participation in the new generations. This is why the birth and growth of these new sports enhances the level of competition in all the countries of the Latin American region.