Peruvians in the Winter Olympics: A First

February 14th, 2010

Rachel Gamarra informs us of an Olympic first for Peru

No, it’s not the first time Peru won a medal in the Olympics (albeit they presently only have four — Better luck in 2012 “americano” — No seriously, I mean it);

It’s the first time a Peruvian will participate in the Winter Olympics.

Roberto Carcelén is the one man team racing for the Gold at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Colombia. Carcelén, who works for Microsoft in Seattle, only took up skiing at the age of 34 – a mere five years ago!

I’ve mentioned before that Peru is the perfect sports destination for amateur and professional athletes, so why not Winter Olympians as well?

In an interview, Roberto described Peruvians as “laid back” and said of them, “We kind of like living life in a good way. With sports, we’re not like other cultures. We like food, wine and partying.“  When I read the quote off to my husband (a former Peruvian athlete himself) he laughed in agreement. – Yep, that’s Peru in a nutshell!

As for there being snow and mountains in Peru, Carcelén mentions that they exist, but high altitudes are an obstacle. If Team USA can practice in the Andes of Chile, then why not the Andes of Peru? Personally, I don’t see altitude being the problem. It would benefit the Peruvian government to seek modernization beyond Lima.

The American press doesn’t give Carcelén’s dream of an Olympic medal much hope, but I’m sure for Carcelén and Peru that doesn’t matter, he’s just there to Representar!

Visit to see Carcelén and Peru’s Olympic profile.

Watch the interview with Roberto Carcelén here

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