Soccer has the same level as religion for Bolivians. So much so that it not unusual for fans to get into some serious physical altercations over what happened in the match. Some will say that this is the definition of “for the love of the game” while say that it is plain crazy. Either way, there is no denying the fact that they are soccer fans.
Traditionally though, Bolivians like games that are more “rural” like trompo and palo ensebao which are usually played during their festivals.
But when it comes to soccer, things do get serious. They even have devised a version of soccer that can be played indoors. They call it “fútbol de salon” which is usually played on a basketball court with a smaller ball, smaller goals and with five or six people on each team.
The Bolivian national soccer team has been representing the country in international competitions since 1926 but sadly has not advanced past the initial round of any World Cup. However, Bolivia has produced its fair share of athletes like Marco Antonio “El Diablo” Etcheverry and Erwin Sánchez, both of whom were trained in the Tachuichi Aguilera Soccer Academy, Bolivia’s factory of outstanding soccer players.
Bolivia has sent athletes to the Olympic Games since 1936. They have an almost perfect attendance on all Summer Olympic Games since 1964 except for when they joined the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games. The country is yet to win an Olympic medal but their National sub-15 football team did win the gold in Singapore 2010 at the Youth Olympic Games.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Bolivia. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Popular sports of Bolivia
- Football (Soccer), Volleyball, Paleta Vasca (Basque pelota), Tennis
Traditional or Regional Sports
- Palo ensebao
- "Fútbol de salon", also know as "fulbito" is a type of soccer normally played in basketball courts fitted with small goals
Bolivia Sporting Success
- Bolivia's national under-15 football team won gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010.
Great athletes from Bolivia
- Marco Antonio Etcheverry (football)
- Erwin Sánchez (football)
- Maria Fernanda Álvarez (tennis)
- Paulo Víctor Aguilera (BMX)
- Katherine Moreno (swimming)
Bolivia Sports trivia
- Bolivia takes part in the Bolivarian Games, a multi-sport competition involving athletes from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
Bolivia at major events
Past sporting events hosted in Bolivia
- 1977 Bolivarian Games in La Paz
- 1978 - The first official South American Games was held in La Paz, Bolivia
- 1993 Bolivarian Games in Cochabamba
- 2009 Bolivarian Games in Sucre
- 2018 - the 11th edition of the South American Games were held in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Upcoming sporting events in Bolivia
- 2020 - the first Youth Bolivarian Games, in Sucre, Bolivia.
Annual sporting events held in Bolivia
- The Bolivarian Games — a multi-sport competition involving athletes from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela, first held in 1938 in Bogotá
Sporting Facilities in Bolivia
- Estadio Hernando Siles - sports stadium located in La Paz, Bolivia. It is the country's largest stadium with a capacity of over 40,000.