Colombia’s nine athletes to look out for at Rio 2016

World champions and Paralympic medallists will spearhead the Colombian delegation at September’s Paralympic Games. 07 Jul 2016
Nelson Crispin of Colombia competes at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.

Nelson Crispin of Colombia competes at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain.

ⒸLuc Percival Photography. All rights reserved.

Colombia’s delegation at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will be headlined by world champions and Paralympic medallists.

Athletics – Dixon Hooker

2015 was a breakthrough year for the 22-year-old, who won gold in the men’s 400m T38 at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and went on to claim the world title in Doha, Qatar. Earlier this year, Hooker topped the podium at the Caixa Loterias Athletics Open Championship, in Rio, and is hoping to repeat that success at September’s Games.

Athletics – Maritza Arango

Arango has not stopped improving since she ended sixth in the women’s 1,500m T11 at London 2012, becoming one of the best athletes in the following years. In 2015, she claimed gold at Toronto 2015 and silver at the World Championships. In Rio, it should be a straight contest between her and China’s world champion and world record holder Jin Zheng.

Athletics – Mauricio Valencia

If Valencia maintains his great form from 2015, he will most probably climb onto the Paralympic podium this September. The 27-year-old sealed silver in both the men’s javelin F34/57 at the Parapan Ams and the javelin F34 at the 2015 World Championships. With China’s world record holder Yanzhang Wang as the overwhelming favourite, Valencia still aims to win a medal.

Cycling – Nestor Ayala

With four more years of experience under his belt after finishing sixth in the mixed road time trial T1-2 at London 2012, Ayala is keen to make the most of his second Paralympic experience, in Rio, especially after winning the road race at Toronto 2015 and claiming silver at last year’s road World Championships.

Cycling – Carolina Munevar

In 2014, Munevar had her left leg amputated after an accident whilst cycling. One year later, the 21-year-old became the first Colombian female Para cyclist to compete at a road World Championships, in Notwill, Switzerland, where she won silver in the women’s road race C2. Munevar is hoping to write history this year again at Rio 2016.

Cycling – Alvaro Galvis

Colombia’s most decorated Para cyclist aims to win his first Paralympic medal. Two-time world champion Galvis will be competing in the men’s road race, the time trial, the 1km and the individual pursuit C2 events in Rio. “I dream of winning the Paralympic gold. I am working very hard, it is not easy to train for both the road and the track, but I remain confident,” he said.

Swimming – Carlos Serrano

The 17-year-old looks good to top the podium in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7 at Rio 2016. World champion Serrano is the world record holder of 1:14.68, a five-time Parapan American gold medallist and was named the 2015 Best Sportsman of the Year by the Colombian newspaper Vanguardia Liberal.

Swimming – Moises Fuentes

Fuentes will compete at his fifth Paralympic Games in Rio, hoping to add a gold to his haul after claiming bronze at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012 in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4. Last year, the Parapan American champion finished fourth at the World Championships, in Glasgow, Great Britain.

Swimming – Nelson Crispin

Colombia will seek golds from 24-year-old Crispin, who will be competing at his second Paralympic Games. Last year, he shined at Toronto 2015, winning three golds, two silvers and one bronze, and went on to seal one gold and two silvers at Glasgow 2015.


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.