Guatemala's National Olympic Committee, the Comité Olímpico Guatemalteco (GUA) was formed in 1947 and was recognized by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) the very same year. In 1952, Guatemala made their Olympic debut by sending a rather large contingent of 21 athletes to Helsinki, Finland. They had athletes for athletics, cycling, fencing, shooting, swimming and wrestling. They are however unable to snag their first Olympic medal in 1952.
Guatemala will then miss the next three Summer Games and come back in 1968 by sending their biggest contingent yet of 48 athletes to Mexico City, Mexico. From that point on, Guatemala will have an almost perfect attendance record in the Summer Olympics, with the only blemish being the 1980 absence when they supported the US-led boycott of the Olympics being held in Moscow.
Since their debut in 1952, Guatemala has never won an Olympic medal that is until the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Guatemala sent a team of 19 athletes including multiple repeat Olympians from former contingents like badminton player Kevin Cordón who represented Guatemala in 2008 at Beijing, China and sailor Juan Ignacio Maegli Agüero. But the name that will stand out in London in 2012 from the Guatemalan team is Erick Barrondo. He took the silver for the men's 20km walk race. He is Guatemala's first-ever Olympic medalist in five decades since their debut in 1952.
In 1988, Guatemala also tried their hand in the Winter Olympics by sending six alpine skiers but they were not able to rank anything higher than 29th place. After that, Guatemala have not been seen in the Winter Games again.
- Guatemala at the Winter Olympics
- List of all countries that have participated at the Olympic Games.
- About sport in Guatemala