The 2022 Winter Olympics are here, and while most Latin American countries aren’t known for their wintertime sports, there are plenty of Latine athletes you should keep tabs on during the Games in Beijing. The opening ceremony takes place on February 4.
According to Olympics.com, there are 33 athletes from eight Latin American countries and Puerto Rico participating in Olympic events this year. The countries that sent competitors are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru.
Some of the winter sports they will compete in include Alpine skiing, speed skating, cross country skiing, luge, figure skating, and more. Here is a look at seven of the talented Latin American athletes who will be representing their country in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Carillo is a Mexican figure skater. The 22-year-old athlete was born in Zapopan in Jalisco. Last year, he became the first Mexican skater to land a quadruple jump during competition. Carrillo was named to the Mexican Olympic team after winning his fourth national title in Mexico. He will serve as one of his country’s flag bearers during the opening ceremony. “What moves me is knowing that I represent my country whenever I go to competitions,” Carrillo wrote.
Escobar is a 20-year-old first-generation American skier who is competing for Ecuador, the birth country of her parents. In 2020, she represented Ecuador in the Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland. Escobar is the lone representative of Ecuador this year. “Happy 20th Birthday to me & Happy Chinese New Year,” Escobar wrote. “The Olympics is my birthday gift.”
Gómez is a 31-year-old Colombian speed skater who has competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics. During those Games, she broke a national women’s Olympic record in the 1000m speed skating event during a test competition. Gómez holds five national records in speed skating in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m events. “I appreciate all the blessings and privileges in my life,” Gómez wrote. “Coming soon….BEIJING!!”
Ravenna is a 23-year-old Argentine luger who has competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics, which made her only the second Argentine woman to ever compete in luge at the Games. She currently lives in Canada. “Has it really been 4 years since Pyeongchang?” Ravenna wrote. “Ready for the first day of training tomorrow for the Beijing 2022 Olympics!”
Ohaco is a 26-year-old Chilean skier who competed in the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Born in Santiago, Ohaco currently studies industrial design in college. “I’m going to the Olympics for the third time!!” Ohaco wrote. “A lot has happened since the last games. It went from being one of my best years to getting injured and having to store my skis for almost a whole year. I came back, it wasn’t easy, but here we are four years later, qualified again for this great sporting event. Obviously, I could not have achieved this without the support of my family and sponsors, thank you for always believing in me.”
Soto is a 28-year-old cross country skier from Minneapolis who will compete for Mexico at this year’s Olympic Games. He is following in the footsteps of his coach, Germán Madrazo. When he’s not skiing, Soto is a project coordinator for an industrial machinery company. “The moment I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived!” Soto wrote. “I want to share with you that officially I will be the one who will represent Mexico in the discipline of cross-country skiing. What joy I have to represent my Mexico with all the pride and all the love that I have for it.”
Mourão is a 46-year-old Brazilian cross-country skier who has competed in four Winter Olympics – (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018). She’s also participated in three Summer Olympics. “What a thrill to get here and be able to put my name once again in the history of Brazil,” Mourão wrote. “I feel extremely happy and motivated to go to my 8th Olympics and represent my country in the best way possible.”