Culture

  •  Ethnicity
•  History



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The most popular sport in Ecuador, as in most South American countries, is soccer (football). Its best known professional teams include Barcelona S.C. and C.S. Emelec, from Guayaquil, Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, Deportivo Quito and El Nacional (the Ecuadorian Armed Forces team) from Quito, Olmedo from Riobamba, and Deportivo Cuenca, from Cuenca.

The matches of the Ecuador national football team are the most watched sports events in the country. In June 2007, FIFA adopted a resolution prohibiting international soccer games at or higher than 2,500 meters above sea level. Rafael Correa, and his presidential counterparts in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia, issued a joint letter of protest against this ruling. Ecuador qualified for the final rounds of both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. Ecuador finished ahead of Poland and Costa Rica to come in second to Germany in Group A in the 2006 World Cup. Futsal, often referred to as índoris very popular.

There is considerable interest in tennis in the middle and upper classes in the Ecuadorean society, and several Ecuadorean professional players have attained considerable international fame, including Francisco Segura and Andrés Gómez. Basketball also has a high profile, while Ecuador's specialties include Ecuavolley, a three-person variation of volleyball. Bullfighting is practiced at a professional level in Quito, during the annual festivities that commemorate the Spanish founding of the city. Bullfighting is found in smaller towns, notably El Chaco (east of Quito).

Ecuador obtained its first Olympic gold medal in Atlanta's 1996 Olympic Games, through Jefferson Pérez, on the 20 km race-walk. There is flourishing activity in nontraditional sports such as mountain biking, motorbiking, surfing, and paintball. Since 2005, Ecuador has held the Guayaquil Marathon, which is an international foot race.

Some costal resorts, particularly Montañita and Ayampe, have been developed as surfing centres. Ecuador also hosted the 2007 Youth World Championship for Rock Climbing, held in Ibarra, becoming the first country outside of Europe or Asia to host the event.

  

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