The Rio Games, which marked the first Olympics to be held in South America, brought Colombia its best historical performance at the biggest sports competition in the world. The “Cafeteros” team had a record haul of eight medals, including three golds, to finish second in the regional table just behind the host, Brazil.
The number of metals obtained by Colombia in Rio equals our achievements four years ago in London, however, three golds in one event marks an extraordinary performance in general, especially if you consider that before this summer, the athletes wearing the yellow uniform have only ever won two gold medals in all Colombian Olympic history.
Overall our country acquired eight medals; three gold, two silver and three bronze, and we also got twenty-one Olympic diplomas, giving us a total of ninety-seven Olympic points. What’s more, after a long, twenty-eight years without winning an Olympic medal in boxing, Colombia stepped back on the platform with Yuberjén Martinez (silver) and Ingrid Valencia (bronze). We also got two medals in weightlifting thanks to Oscar Figueroa (gold) and Luis Javier Mosquera (bronze). Mariana Pajon (gold) and Carlos Alberto Ramirez (bronze) brought home medals in BMX biking, and in Judo, Yuri Alvear added a medal (silver). Finally, Caterine Ibarguen did an amazing job in the triple jump (gold) completed the tricolor medal count.
Unfortunately, none of the five athletes from Atlántico achieved a medal in Rio de Janeiro. Our best results came from the footballers Teofilo Gutierrez (Barranquilla) and Andres Felipe Roa (Sabanalarga) who, on the national team, won the Olympic diploma after finishing the tournament in the quarterfinals.
The USA finished atop the overall standings with forty-six golds, thirty-seven silvers, and thirty-eight bronzes, for a total of one hundred twenty-one medals. Great Britain and China finished in second and third place respectively, largely thanks to their efforts in organizing the past two summer games. in fact, both the British and the Chinese got a total of sixty-seven (27G, 23 S, 17 B) and seventy (26 G, 18 S, 26 B) each.This is an incredible testament to the benefits of hosting the olympics for the athletes themselves; with expanded and improved infrastructure, athletes are able to dramatically improve their performance.
In South America, Colombia had been fighting at the top of the table toward the end of the second week but was far overtaken in the final few days by Brazil who waited to double their golds at the very end. Brazil finished in the thirteenth position with seven gold, six silver, and six bronze. The athletes with sombrero vueltiaos were second in the region, finishing twenty-third in the world. The last spot in our subcontinent podium was held by Argentina, who ended in the twenty-seventh place with three golds and one silver medal. The only other South American country that won anything was Venezuela, who reached a three medal mark (one silver and two bronzes).