The Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia include a blend of Hispanic athletes across Latino countries and cultures
An occasion for nations to come together and set aside their differences to enjoy the beauty of sports, the Olympics are a reminder of the connections we share with the other citizens of our world. For Latino athletes, the Olympics have long been a chance to prove their mettle and make their nations proud.
Though most associate Latin countries with summer sports, a strong contingent of Latin American countries are participating in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. As business leaders look to this year’s Olympics for entertainment, it’s important to keep the lessons that the games teach about mobility and connectivity in mind.
Global Games, Global Ties
The Olympics serve as a strong reminder of the cultural ties between the United States and Latin America in particular where these relationships often drive commerce. For many spectators in the United States, the participation of Puerto Rican athletes in the past has been a particularly bright spot.
Unfortunately, the winter sports federation in Puerto Rico is no longer recognized by the commonwealth’s Olympics committee, and well-known skier Kristina Krone is not able to represent Puerto Rico in the games. Still, many Hispanics have fond memories of the 1988 Puerto Rican ski team, whose members understood that upholding the spirit of the Olympics was much more vital than winning a medal.
Despite the chilly temperatures that draw them there, Hispanic athletes are going strong in Sochi. Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and Venezuela have all sent athletes to the games.
Of course, Spain is also participating with a full roster of skiers, snowboarders and figure skaters. While Chile and Argentina are known for their stunning mountains and great ski opportunities, the participation of countries such as Paraguay comes as a surprise to many. It is thanks to the connected nature of the modern world that an athlete born in Paraguay and raised in the United States by adoptive parents was able to coordinate with her birth country to participate in this year’s games.