Last Monday we looked at the life of famed Cuban boxer Teófilo Stevenson who was only one of three pugilists to win three gold medals at the Olympics. Over the next few days we’ll look at other athletes from Latin America and the Caribbean who excelled in previous editions of the Summer Games.
It is not unusual for some athletes to enter the world of politics after retiring from the sports scene. Before his tragic death in 2009 Nicaraguan pugilist Alexis Arguello served as mayor of Managua while former Brazilian soccer superstar turned congressman Romario has been very vocal in criticizing the organization of the 2016 Rio Games.
Months before the Beijing Games in 2008, sprinter Ana Guevara retired from the track alleging that she was tired of the corruption and “dirty politics” in Mexican athletics. Since then the outspoken Guevara has not shied away from throwing her hat into the political ring.
In 2009 she attempted to run for local office in Mexico City as a candidate of a leftist alliance but lost by a slim margin. Despite the electoral reversal and having to pay a fine for tax evasion this May, Guevara aimed this year for a seat on the Mexican Congress. She received the backing of several politicos including presidential candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador. Earlier this month, Guevara won and she will be a senator as part of the opposition expected to serve as a counterweight to alleged president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
All Mexicans may not share her political views yet she’s a venerated figure due to her accomplishments on the track. A recent poll named her the “most accomplished Mexican athlete on a national level” ahead of soccer stars Javier "Chicharito" Hernández and Hugo Sánchez.
In her eleven-year career Guevara won numerous medals in the former World Championships, Goodwill Games and Pan Am Games. The pinnacle may have been in the finals of the 400-meter dash at the 2004 Olympics where she won the silver medal in a close race behind Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas:
Video Source – YouTube via blueeboy2007
Online Sources – ESPN, New York Times, El Universal, Milenio, El Imparcial, The Latin Americanist, mediotiempo.com