In terms of the speed modality, Latin American athletes already surpass the traditional European and Asian powers
Skating is still far from football, basketball or baseball if we talk about media impact throughout the American continent, so their athletes have had to earn recognition and to earn it with their trophies in hand. It has been a tough fight for this sport that does not yet have an Olympic status, which has somehow made it less popular.
Andrés Felipe Muñoz, world skating champion with the Colombia National Team, believes that there is not much ground left for skating to reach that place that thousands dream of: "The option of reaching the Summer Olympics is very far away, because the International Federation needs a global sponsor, which shelters the sport so that it can have television. A sport without television is not viable, because there are no sponsors," Muñoz said two years ago in an interview with El Espectador when recently the coffee team was celebrating another feat on skates.
Leer en español: Patinaje: Un deporte en el que Latinoamérica destaca
However, the fight has not only been on the part of Colombia. Other nations such as Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina have also been making dealings to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which have generated at least one hope, and that is that skating on ice is already in the Winter Olympics.
The discouraging panorama has not stopped the different Latin athletes that with each World Cup seek to convince the IOC so that their discipline is in the privileged list of Olympic sport. In the case of Chile, one of its best participations was in the World Cup held in 2006 in Anyang, South Korea. The sports media Al Aire Libre remembers that the austral team won two gold medals and two more bronze medals.
Meanwhile, Argentina has tried to excel in the sport, although without much success. Its greatest triumphs have been derived from other similar disciplines such as roller skating or roller hockey. Two years ago it won the third place in the World Championship held in Novara, Italy, as reported by Clarin, who highlighted the albiceleste's victory on the premises with a final score of 4-2.
Argentina could not shine in the modality of speed even in the World Cup that it organized in 2014, having as headquarters the city of Rosario. According to El Colombiano, the Argentine team did not reach even the top 5 of the competition. The first place was taken by Colombia, the second by South Korea, the third by France, the fourth by Italy and the fifth by Taipei.
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In the case of Venezuela, the great victory won by Wilfredo Alexander Valbuena in the 2016 World Cup held in Nanjing still rests in the memory of Latin Americans. There the Venezuelan won the competition of 100 meters lanes in the junior male category, which allowed him to hang a gold medal, reported at the time the website of the Embassy of Venezuela in China.
For its part, every year Colombia continues to demonstrate its power over skates. Now it has 16 world titles on its shelf, nine of them achieved consecutively. Since 2009 the coffee team does not know what is to lose in a championship of this magnitude.
On the new title won in 2018, now in the city of Arnhem, in the Netherlands, coach Iván Vargas told As Colombia: "The team behaved in an extraordinary way: won 44 medals, 20 gold, 15 silver and 9 made of bronze".
The greatest source of success in this sport for Latin America is deposited in Colombia, without ignoring the potential of Chile or Venezuela. Now, the biggest challenge that remains is for the sport to enter the Olympics; in Tokyo 2020 it will not be, so we will have to wait for the 2024 competition that will host Paris.
LatinAmerican Post | Yeinson Fajardo Bohórquez
Translated from "Patinaje: Un deporte en el que Latinoamérica destaca"