Venezuela: Sports, Entertainment & Leisure                    

  • Baseball, basketball and coleo are the three most popular sports in Venezuela.

 

  • Baseball has been popular since the early 20th century due to the influence of the American oil companies in the region. In 1941, at the World Amateur Baseball tournament, Venezuela beat Cuba and surprised everyone—since Cuba was favored. A week later, when the team returned to Venezuela, over 100,000 people lined up along a twenty-mile road from La Guaria to the capital to welcome them back. At the time that was more than a third of the country's population!

 

  • Basketball is the second most popular sport. Venezuela is proud to have hosted the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying tournament and the 2013 FIBA Americans Championship. Óscar Torres, Richard Lugo, Carl Herrera and Greivis Vásquez are all accomplished Venezuelan basketball players.

  • Coleo (photo) is a traditional Venezuelan and Colombian sport. It is similar to a rodeo. A group of llaneros (cowboys) on horseback chase cattle at high speeds through a narrow pathway (manga de coleo) in order to make them fall or catch them.  

 

  • Venezuela participates in the Pan American Games and the Central American and Caribbean Games. Caracas hosted the games in 1959 and 1983.

 

  • Venezuela has participated in the Summer Olympic Games since 1948 and the Winter Olympic Games since 1998. It won its first Olympic medal in 1952 when Arnoldo Devonish won bronze in the Men's Triple Jump and its first Olympic gold in 1968 when Francisco Rodríguez won the light flyweight boxing medal.

 

Triple jumper Yulimar Rojas earned a silver medal and a free house

at the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Olympics in 2016.

 

In fact, Venezuela offered free government housing

to all 87 of its 2016 Olympians.