Famous Peruvian Sports Figures

If you’d like to get acquainted with some of the residents while on vacation in Peru, one of the best ways to strike up a conversation is by mentioning one of their countless sports heroes. Peruvians are very proud of their top athletes, and are usually anxious to talk about them. Drop one of these names as an easy icebreaker to start a conversation with a local.

Johnny Bello is one of the best known swimmers in Peru. He was dominant in all four styles of swimming for many years. He was a multi-time winner of the Pan American games and won many medals in South American events as well. He went to two Olympics, in Mexico and Munich. He now belongs to a couple of committees overseeing the growth of the sport in Peru.

If you want to talk about football (soccer in the US) mention the name of Teofilo Cubillas. He is considered one of the best South American football players of all time. He was known for his monstrous freekicks, and scored over 500 goals in his career, ten of them in World Cup play. He has been on several “top 100” lists, including those of FIFA and the IFFFHS.

In the sporting world of volleyball, a big sport in Peru, the name to know is Cecilia Tait. She is considered one of the best athletes to ever play the game. She has competed at the Pan American games, as well as three separate Olympics, winning a silver medal in Seoul. On top of that, she was placed in the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2000. She is now a member of the Peruvian congress.

With Peru’s reputation as a world-class surfing destination, it’s no wonder that the country has produced so many amazing surfers as well. One of the most prolific was Sofia Aljovin, the first in her country to win a World Title in surfing. She was inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in 2007, the first South American to earn this honor.

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