Peru: Gearing Up for the London 2012 Olympics

This post is part of our special coverage London Olympics 2012.

On Friday July 27, 2012, just a day before the Peruvian National Independence Holidays, the Opening Ceremony will kick off the London 2012 Olympics. For a moment, Peruvians will leave aside their attention from the yearly Presidential Address, which will be delivered the next day, and set their eyes in the ceremony broadcasted live from London.

In a country full of sports enthusiasts, the Olympic Games always arouse the interest of Peruvians. The nation has participated in all but one edition of the Olympic Games (missing only the 1952 Olympics Games, held in Helsinki). In total, there are four Peruvian medalists: one gold an three silvers.

The blog Londres 2012, on a post titled Peru in the Modern Olympic Games [es], reflects:

Participar en los Juegos Olímpicos, es el sueño que tiene todo deportista, porque no solamente irá a competir por ganar una medalla, sino tambien, porque representará a su país e hicieron de todo para dejar el nombre del Perú, en este caso, en alto a nivel mundial.

- Con la participación que tendrá Perú en Londres 2012, será su participación 18, incluida los Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno. Pero a eso tambien se le tiene que agregar los Juegos Olímpicos de la Juventud. Sin embargo, eso no es reconocido por el Comité Olímpico Peruano.

To take part in the Olympic Games is every athlete's dream, not only because they compete to win a medal, but also because they represent their country and make every effort to put Peru's name, in this specific case, very high on a global scale.

This participation of Peru in London 2012, will be its 18th participation, including the Winter Olympic Games. The Youth Olympic Games should also be added here. However, they are not recognized by the Peruvian Olympic Committee.

For this edition, 17 Peruvian athletes will represent the country in London, as noted [es] by Toustodo's Blog, which also includes photos of each of the athletes:

[…] en los Juegos Olímpicos deLondres está representado en varias disciplinas deportivas, por los mejores
atletas del medio. Esta es la delegación peruana.

[…] in the London Olympic Games, [Peru] is represented in various sport disciplines, by the best athletes of the country. This is the Peruvian delegation.

On Tuesday, July 17, the Peruvian group took off for London, as the blog Offside [es] reports:

Nuestra delegación también ya partió hacia Londres, no obstante, el equipo no lo hizo sin antes reunirse con el primer mandatario y la primera dama en el Palacio de Gobierno. Allí la atleta Gladys Tejada, fue nombrada como la abanderada nacional de los Juegos Olímpicos.

“Para mí es un honor y una alegría enorme, representar por primera vez a mi país en estos Juegos Olímpicos”, dijo Tejada. “Haremos un gran papel allá. No los defraudaré y tengan en claro que llevaremos en nombre de nuestro país muy en alto “, agregó.

Our delegation took off to London, although the team had a previous meeting with the Head of State and the First Lady at the House of Government. There athlete Gladys Tejada was designated as the national standard-bearer for the Olympic Games.

“It's an honor for me and the biggest joy, to represent my country for the first time in these Olympic Games”, Tejada said. “We will play a great role over there. I won't let you all down, and be sure that we will make our country proud by putting Peru on the map“, she added.

The blog Competencia [es] highlights the effort made by the Peruvian delegation:

“Es algo grande que el Perú, pese a las dificultades que se están dando, tenga logros deportivos”, dijo [Cristhian de la Torre, asesor técnico del Instituto Peruano del Deporte (IPD)]. Como ejemplo, señaló al número de participantes peruanos en los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres 2012. “Van a ser unos Juegos históricos porque tenemos 17 clasificados”, agregó.

Sobre este tema, el representante del IPD opinó que confía en los representantes peruanos realicen una buena presentación. “He visto el esfuerzo de los chicos para luchar por resultados. Desde ya me siento orgulloso”, afirmó.

“It's really great that Peru, in spite of the existing difficulties, has sports achievements”, [Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD) technical advisor, Cristhian de la Torre] said. As an example, he pointed out the number of Peruvians taking part in the London 2012 Olympics. “These are going to be historical games, because we have 17 classified [athletes]”, he added.

About this, the representative of the IPD is confident that Peruvians will have a good performance. “I've seen the effort of these athletes to strive for the results. I already feel proud”, he stated.

Peruvian surfer Gabriel Villarán. Photo by Ben Ellis (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

On July 10, female boxing champion Kina Malpartida and surfer Gabriel Villarán [es] took the Olympic flame through the streets of Oxford. The blog No apto para adultos (NAPA) [es] posted:

Con mucha emoción y saludando a todos los presentes, nuestra campeona mundial Kina Malpartida corrió con la antorcha olímpica en la ciudad de Oxford, Gran Bretaña.

Nuestro tablista Gabriel Villarán también llevó la antorcha ayer. Y hoy le dio la posta a Kina Malpartida, quien recorrió los 300 metros que le correspondían en la ciudad de Oxford.

Very excited and waving at the audience, our world champion Kina Malpartida ran with the Olympic flame in the city of Oxford, Great Britain.

Our surfer Gabriel Villarán took the flame yesterday too. And he passed the baton to Kina Malpartida, who covered the 300 meters assigned to her in the city of Oxford.

We are just days away from the London 2012 opening ceremony. We hope Peru may perform at its best. But, aside from the results, let's enjoy the 2012 Olympics.

May the Games begin!

This post is part of our special coverage London Olympics 2012.

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