Did you know …

The Central American country of El Salvador has never won an Olympic medal.

The Indian men's national field hockey team was crowned as the Olympic champions for 1964. The winners were: Syed Ali, Charanjit Singh, Darshan Singh, Shankar Lakshman, Rajendran Christie, Prithipal Singh, Dharam Singh, Gurbux Singh, Udham Singh, Mohinder Lal, Jagjit Singh, Rajinder Singh, Joginder Singh, Haripal Kaushik, Harbinder Singh, Bandu Patil and Victor John Peter.

Said Ahmed Farouck was the best sprinter of Comoros Islands -an ex colony French in Africa- in the 1980s.

Cyprus -a small island in the Mediterranean Sea- has competed in the Winter Olympic Games 8 times (Lake Placid-1980, Sarajevo-1984, Calgary-1988, Albertville-1992, Lillehammer-1994, Nagano-1998, Salt Lake City-2002 and Turin-2006).

New Zealand won two gold medals at the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne (Australia).

Letitia Vriesde was the flag bearer of the Surinamese team at the opening ceremony at the Olympics in 2004. Like Anthony Conrad Nesty (Olympic champion), she was one of the most popular sportspeople in Suriname and the Caribbean. She was born on October 5, 1964 in Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, an ex Dutch colony in South America. From 1988 to 2004, she won several medals (Pan American Games, World Championships, Central American & Caribbean Games). Letitia won a silver medal in the 800m at the 1995 World Athletics Championship in Gothenburg (Sweden). Certainly, she is a heroine in her country.

Mathias Ntawulikura (Rwanda / Africa) finished 8th in the 10,000m at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

Armenia-former Soviet republic- has had great athletes in the past century: Grant Chaguinian (gymnastics / Olympic gold medalist, 1952), Albert Azarian (gymnastics / Olympic gold medalist, 1956, 1960 & 1964), Vladimir Enguibariun (boxing / Olympic gold Medalist, 1956), Armen Nazaryan (wrestling / Olympic gold medalist, 1996) and Armen Mkchyan (wrestling / Olympic silver medalist, 1996).

Saudi Arabia has never won a gold Olympic medal.

Angola-African country- sent 39 Olympic athletes to the 1992 Games in Barcelona (Spain). The Angolan contingent involved in seven disciplines: aquatics (3), athletics (6), boxing (1), judo (4), sailing (3), roller hockey (11) and basketball (11). The basketball national team finished 10th at the Barcelona Olympics. Angola -African champion- produced a major surprise in defeating China 79-69 …

Austria has many Olympic champions: Herna Bauna (track & field), Gregor Hradetzky (kayak), Christopher Sieber (sailing), Hans Haas (weightlifting), Elisabeth Theurer (equestrian), Peter Seisanbacher (judo) and Franz Andrisek (weightlifting).

North Korea has not won an Olympic medal for volleyball since the 1972 Olympics.

Alleyne Francique finished 4th in the 400m (44.66s) at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. This sprinter is the best sportspeople of Grenada.

Lebanon competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, USA. Most Lebanese athletes qualified for the Games in athletics, boxing, cycling, fencing, wrestling, shooting, swimming and weightlifting. This Arab country also competed at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Yugoslavia.

The Nigerian men's national soccer team won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in 1996. Nigeria defeated Argentina 3-2 in the Olympic final. The Olympic champions were: TeslimFatusi, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Amunike, Tijani Babangida, Celestine Babayaro, Taribo West, Victor Ikpeda, Dosu Joseph, Nwankwo Kanu, Wilson Oruma, Mobi Oparaku, Sunday Oliseh, Jay-Jay Okocha, Garba Nawal, Uche Okechukwu , Kingsley Obiekwu and Abiodun Obafemi.

Bangladesh is an Olympic member since 1980. However, it did not go to the Olympic Games in the USSR.

In the 1990s, Croatia had a famous basketball players: Stojan Vrunkovic, Toni Kukoc, Drazen Petrovic, Dino Rada and Franjo Arapovic.

Paraguay sent 10 sportspeople to the Olympic Games in the 1970s.

Taiwan sent 22 athletespersons to the Summer Olympics in 1972. It participated in 10 sports. Archery: Meei-Shya Shue. Track & field: Chin-Lung Chen, Ming-Chih Chen, Chung-Ping Lee, Wen-Ho Soo, Cheng Chi, Chiu-Hsia Lee, Chun Yu Lin and Yu-Chih Wu. Boxing: Chee-Yen Wang. Wrestling: Jine-Shiong Sheu. Judo: Ping-Ho Chang, Chi Hsiang Cheng, Jen-Wuh Juang and Jong She Wang. Weightlifting: Kue Sen Chen. Cycling: Ming Fa Shue. Sailing: Shiu-Hsiung Chen. Shooting: Tao Yuan Wu. Swimming: Tung-Hsiung Hsu, Yue-Yun Hsu and Yue Hwan Lie.

Mauritania competed at the Summer Olympics for the first time at the 1984 Games. This African country sent 4 wrestlers to the Olympics in Los Angeles, USA.

The Kingdom of Bhutan sent 3 sportswomen to the Olympics Games in 1992. They were: Karma Tshomo, Pem Tshering and Namgyal Lhama (archery).

Georgia -ex Soviet republic- is the birthplace of Viktor Saneiev, who won three gold medals at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In 1980, he won the silver medal in the triple jump at the Moscow Olympics. Like Joao Carlos de Oliveira (Brazil), Jonathan Edwards (Great Britain) and Mike Conley (United States), Viktor was one of the best triple jumpers of the 20th century.

Belarus won two silver medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway in 1994.

Talata Embalo was the flag bearer of the Bissau Guinean national team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in the United States. Embalo is the best weightlifter of Guinea-Bissau, an ex Portuguese colony in Africa.

Mongolia sent 4 sportsswomen to the Olympics in West Germany in 1972.

Obadele Thompson is the greatest Barbadian athlete of the 21st century. From 2000 to 2004, he was one of the best sprinters in the world.

Date of birth: 30/3/1976

Place of birth: Saint Michel, Barbados (Caribbean country)

Education: University of Texas

Top performances:

1991: Carifta Games-1st 100m, 3rd 200m

1992: Carifta Games-1st 100m, 2nd 200m

1993: Pan American Junior Championship-3rd 100m, 2nd 200m; Carifta Games-1st 100m, 2nd 200m; Central American & Caribbean Senior Championship-1st 100m

1994: Carifta Games-1st 100m, 1st 200m; World Athletics Cup- 4th 100m

1995: Central American & Caribbean Senior Championship-1st 200m

1996: Olympic Games-12th 100m, 4th 200m

1997: World Athletics Cup- 6th 100m

1998: Central American & Caribbean Games-1st 100m; Commonwealth Games-3rd 100m; World Athletics Cup-1st 100m

1999: World Athletics Championship- 4th 100m, 4th 200m

2000: Olympic Games-3rd 100m, 4th 200m

2004: Olympic Games-7th 100m

Source by Alejandro Guevara Onofre