Friday, August 08, 2008

Off Topic: Peru At The Beijing Olympics

Photo: RPP

Despite any controversy about the Beijing Olympics, I admit I've always loved the Olympics and will be glued to the television in these next two weeks.

Peru has a small delegation of just thirteen lucky athletes. At the opening ceremonies in Beijing today, the Peruvian team was dressed in the traditional clothing of northern coastal Peru, with large hats typically worn by the chalán.

Here is profile of each of the 2008 Peruvian Olympic athletes:

Peter López, Tae Kwon Do

26 years old. A Peruvian American, he participates in the under 68 kilo category. For six years, he represented the United States. This is his first appearance representing Peru. He is the first Peruvian tae kwon do athlete to classify for the Olympics.

Sixto Barrerra, Wrestling

23 years old. He competes in the 74 kilo category. He began wrestling at age 13. Currently, he studies Physical Education at San Marcos University, and classified for the Olympics after winning a gold medal at the Pan American Games.

Valeria Silva Merea, Swimming

22 years old. She began swimming at age seven at the Lima Club Regatas. Her parents, Javier Silva and Luisa Merea, are also athletes who were on the Peruvian national volleyball team, and her brother Matías is a professional tennis player. She is the only Peruvian athlete at these Games who was previously an Olympian, having represented Peru at Athens 2004.

Louis Tristán Panizo, Long Jump

24 years old. In school, his teacher convinced him to switch from basketball to the long jump. He is currently one of the favorites of the Peruvian team.

Marco Matellini, Skeet Shooting

36 years old. He has been shooting since age 14. He is currently one of South America's top-ranked skeet shooters.

Maria Doig, Fencing

16 years old. She has been fencing since age five. Despite not being able to compete due to an injury at the classification meet in Mexico earlier this year, her prior record earned her a place on the Peruvian team.

Maria Portilla, Marathon

36 years old. From Apurímac, she currently lives and trains in the United States. She classified for the Olympics thanks to her placement at the Salt Lake City Marathon at 2:40 hours.

Paloma Schmidt, Sailing

21 years old. From Lima, she obtained a spot on the team thanks to her placement at the World Sailing Competition in New Zealand.

Carlos Erick Zegarra Presser, Judo

23 years old. He weighs 100 kilos and is 2.01 meters tall, but his friends call him Chiquito, which means Shorty. He has trained in Peru and Spain.

Claudia Rivero Modenesi, Badminton

23 years old. She began playing badminton at age 10. She left her studies at the University of Lima to travel and train in Germany. She is the first Peruvian to earn her spot at the Olympics in badminton due to her ranking and not a wild card or invitation.

Constantino León, Marathon

32 years old. Born in Huancavelica, he trains in Canada. His time of 2:17:41 in the Pre-Olympics earned him his place on the team.

Cristina Cornejo, Weight Lifting

22 years old. She participates in the +75 kilo category. She is one of the top forty female weightlifters in the world, and is current South American champion in her category.

José Emmanuel Crescimbeni, Swimming

17 years old. Born in the US, he has been competing for the past three years. His specialty is the 200 meter butterfly.

Peru In The Parade Of Nations

Go Peru!

Athlete Photos and Bios: DiegoXD

Click here for the Peru Food main page.

TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana


Canelita said...

I was going to wait until the televised broadcast, but I just couldn't help taking a peek. Thanks for the preview! The YouTube video was such a special treat.
And if Peru wins a medal, we'll have to celebrate with a Pisco Sour, of course. But nevertheless, cheers for the Peruvian team at Beijing!!!

N3N4 said...

I am very happy to see that even tough Peru is not at its best right now, economicly, it is very well reprisented. I would be very happy and extremly proud if we win a medal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the info.. watched the whole thing and finally Peru came out for........4 seconds :( .....but this blog made me feel much better and I could show my husband my peruvian athletes.....Come on !!! we can do it guys!!

::Alejandro:: said...

Thank you all for your comments. Go Peru!

Barbara Drake said...

Glad you swerved off topic, Alejandro. The country's representation at the Beijing Games is important -- surely as important as The Year of the Potato!

This is my first experience, as an American expat, cheering on Peruvian athletes in the Olympics. I wish them all the best.

I was expecting to encounter more Olympic spirit here in Lima. I tried to get the food court at Saga, in San Isidro, to turn the big-screen TVs to the Olympics, but the management said, No way.

Did you see last night's ATV broadcast? One of the Peruvian commentators said that apart from the wrestler, Peru didn't any hope for a medal. That comment irked me.

I don't care if he's proven right. The start of the Games is the time to wish the athletes well, not to make fatalistic predictions.

Maybe it's the American-style booster spirit in me, which seems to have survived the trip overseas.
I prefer to cheer the team, as you do:
Go, Peru, go!

(I posted about this today on my blog, btw, at )

Anonymous said...

Yay Peru!!! I feel so proud of the peruvian team! My heart is with all of them.

::Alejandro:: said...

Barbara, every now and again I verge off topic, only this time I labeled it as such, which I like, I'm going to keep that element. Most likely, I'm totally engrossed by the Olympics because I too have that American-style booster spirit, having been born in LA, and raised in Southern California since age seven. Growing up, the Olympics were always a big event at my house, but I've always rooted for at least two teams.

::Alejandro:: said...

@ anonymous: Yay Peru! Glad you liked the post. Saludos!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Definitely gonna recommend this post to a few friends

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!