Sports in Ecuador – From Soccer and Swimming to Shooting!

By March 1939, against all odds,Ecuador,with only four swimmers(the smallest delegation), won the Swimming South American Championships in Lima, Peru, outpacing Brazil and Argentina. The heroes were Carlos Luis Gilbert, Ricardo Planas, Luis Alcivar Elizalde y Abel Gilbert. Because of the World War Second, they could not compete to the Summer Olympics in the 40s.

Pan American Games

Did you know- At the 2007 Pan American Games, a pre-Olympic event, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the Olympic team of Ecuador finished 11th in the count medal, with 19 medals, outpacing Jamaica (13th), Peru (20th) and Uruguay (22nd). The nation’s medal tally for Rio 2007 included five gold medals. In that event, for the first time in the history of the Pan American Games, the team from Ecuador won the soccer tournament, ahead of Jamaica, Mexico and Bolivia. In the gold-medal game, they beat Jamaica 2-1.

Baseball

Did you know- The team from Ecuador -made of mostly Ecuadorian of Panamanian descent– won the Baseball South American Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1963. The national team won all its matches, and defeated Argentina (20-1), Chile (20-2), Brazil (10-0) and Peru (6-0).

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1976 Montreal Olympics

Did you know- The National Olympic Committee sent five athletes to the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal (Quebec, Canada). Curiously the delegation of Ecuador to Montreal was one of the smallest sent by a country in the world.

Women’s Basketball

Did you know- The national team finished in 12th place in the women’s Basketball World Championship in Brazil in the early 70s.

Ecuador Vs U.S.A

Did you know- On October 18, 1960, Ecuador’s player César Muñoz Vicuña made international headlines when he defeated Bobby Fisher (America), one of the greatest players of all time. Like Jefferson Perez (track & field), Galo Legarda (cue sports), Rolando Vera (athletics), Alberto Spencer (soccer) and Jorge Delgado Panchana (aquatics), Mr Muñoz was one of the most respected athletes in Ecuador, an oil-rich nation in South America.

Host Country

Did you know- By the mid-1990s, the Under-17 World Championship, backed by the nation’s then-President Sixto Durán Ballén (1992-96), was held in Guayaquil and Quito (Ecuador). The African team of Ghana was the champion, followed in order by Brazil (runner-up), Argentina (third place) and Oman. Also competed Australia, Nigeria, Portugal, Germany, Canada, Costa Rica, Spain, USA, Guinea, Japan, Qatar, and the host country.

Shooting

Did you know- On October 9, 1934, Ecuador’s shooter Juan Orús Madinya set a new world record.

Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women’s rights, among them “History of the Women in America” and “Famous Americans.”