Chile is sending an impressive team of Olympic athletes to the 2012 London Games, including 14 female competitors, the largest female delegation in Chile’s history of Olympic participation. With these female athletes participating in the London Games, Chile has sent a total of 58 women to Olympic competitions since its first participation in the games. This year’s 14 athletes constitute 24% of the total number of Chilean female Olympic athletes combined.
Some of these competitors are world renowned, such as archery champion Denisse Van Lamoen, while others, such as marathon competitor Natalia Romero, are fresh faces on the Olympic scene. The London 2012 Olympics marks the first games in which Chilean women will represent their country in track cycling, gymnastics, taekwondo and shooting. Female athletes will also represent Chile in track and field, fencing, swimming, weight lifting, table tennis, archery and triathlon – a total of 11 sports, the most in which Chilean women have represented in any Olympic competition. The London Olympics will also mark the first Games in which two female Chilean athletes compete in the marathon.
The last Olympic medal won by a Chilean female athlete was in 1956, and this year presents an excellent opportunity for Chile to medal in one of its Olympic sports. More female athletes are able to fully dedicate their time to their respective sports, with Chile investing more funds into scholarships and sponsorships aimed at advancing elite women’s athletics. In recent years, Chile has also increased infrastructure available for training Olympic athletes, such as in the case of its Olympic Training Center.
Certainly, the London Games commencing July 25, 2012, and ending August 12, 2012, will be exciting for Chile, as the nation watches its competitors embark on their individual Olympic journeys.
Chile’s female Olympic athletes:
- Érika Olivera – marathon, 42 kilometers
- Berta Rodríguez – table tennis
- Kristel Köbrich – swimming
- Bárbara Riveros – triathlon
- Denisse Van Lamoen – archery
- Natalia Duco – shooting
- Cáterin Bravo – fencing
- Natalia Romero – marathon
- Paola Muñoz – road cycling
- Francisca Crovetto – shooting
- Simona Castro – gymnastics
- Yeny Contreras – taekwondo
- Karen Gallardo – discus
- María Fernanda Valdés – weights