Medellin, Colombia – 13 April 2010
The final country to visit on the Why Sport Matters tour of South America was Colombia. To say that Colombia is different than what we had expected is an understatement. Not only is it naturally beautiful with several diverse climates, but the people are warm and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and introduce us to the real Colombia. In addition, their passion for sport has been intertwined with the history of the country, and is a good example of how sport reflects culture.
The capital city of Bogota is the business centre and largest city. Although located right on the equator, it sits at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, which means it never gets very hot. It has a vibrant nightlife, with several bustling universities and many cultural attractions. It is amongst the steep and mountainous terrain of this region that some of the world’s top cyclists are found, with Colombians world renowned as the best climbers in racing. As a result, cycling is very popular in Colombia. Bogota originated a programme called Ciclovia, where every Sunday the main streets of Colombia’s largest cities close down to allow citizens to hit the streets in bicycles, rollerblades and running shoes.