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Discover the vibrant sports culture of Colombia beyond just salsa dancing!

Colombians share a deep passion for their favorite athletic pursuits.

Soccer reigns supreme, but which other sports capture the hearts of Colombians?

Explore the top 11 most popular sports in Colombia in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Colombia:

  1. Soccer
  2. Tejo
  3. Cycling
  4. Boxing
  5. Roller Skating
  6. Motorsports
  7. Basketball
  8. Athletics
  9. Baseball
  10. Bowling
  11. Golf

#1 Soccer

Soccer
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player from Colombia: Carlos Valderrama (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: 2 Million

Soccer is undeniably the most cherished sport in Colombia, uniting millions of fans across the nation. Its deep cultural significance resonates among players and spectators alike.

The Colombian Primera A, also known as Liga BetPlay, is the country’s most popular soccer league, showcasing talented local teams. Carlos Valderrama, nicknamed “El Pibe”, is a legendary Colombian player known for his exceptional skills and iconic hairstyle.

Colombia’s stunning performance in the 2014 World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals for the first time, remains a historic moment in the nation’s soccer history, elevating the sport to new heights in the country.

#2 Tejo

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Pre-Columbian Era
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player in Colombia: N/A
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: Unknown

Tejo, an indigenous sport dating back to pre-Columbian times, holds a special place in Colombia’s cultural heritage. It involves throwing weighted discs towards a target, aiming to create small explosions with firecrackers placed on the target.

Although there are no professional leagues or famous tejo players, regional tejo tournaments attract passionate competitors and create lively social events. The traditional sport has gained popularity among locals and tourists, serving as a unique cultural experience, all the while preserving its roots in Colombian history.

#3 Cycling

Cycling
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Cyclist from Colombia: Nairo Quintana (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Cycling Enthusiasts in Colombia: 1 Million

Cycling has established itself as one of Colombia’s most popular sports, with picturesque landscapes and diverse terrain attracting both amateurs and professionals alike.

The Vuelta a Colombia is the country’s most prestigious cycling race, drawing significant attention from local and international competitors. Nairo Quintana, one of Colombia’s most renowned cyclists, has made headlines with his success in major races like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

Cycling’s popularity continues to grow in Colombia, inspiring a new generation of athletes to conquer the nation’s challenging mountains and picturesque routes.

#4 Boxing

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Boxer from Colombia: Antonio Cervantes (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Boxing Enthusiasts in Colombia: 500,000

Boxing has carved out a prominent niche in Colombia’s sports landscape, driven by the nation’s long-standing passion for pugilism and the success of local fighters on the global stage.

With numerous boxing gyms and academies throughout the country, aspiring pugilists have ample opportunities to hone their skills. Legendary Colombian boxer Antonio Cervantes, better known as “Kid Pambelรฉ”, holds a special place in the nation’s sporting history, with 45 career wins, including two world championships.

Colombian fans have shown unyielding support for their boxing heroes, fostering an enduring appreciation for the sweet science among the nation’s sports enthusiasts.

#5 Roller Skating

roller skates
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Mid-1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Skater from Colombia: Fabriana Arias (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Skaters in Colombia: 500,000

Roller skating, particularly inline speed skating, has gained significant popularity in Colombia over the years. The sport can be enjoyed both recreationally and competitively, with numerous skating clubs and parks available for enthusiasts.

Colombia has excelled in inline skating on the international stage, with multiple World Championship titles and Pan American Games victories to their credit. Fabriana Arias stands out as one of Colombia’s most successful skaters, having secured multiple world titles and setting records.

The widespread interest in roller skating has led to its immense growth among Colombians, from casual leisure skating to competitive success.

#6 Motorsports

Motorsports
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Mid-1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Driver from Colombia: Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Motorsports Fans in Colombia: 2 Million

Motorsports, including both motorcycle and car racing, have gained immense popularity across Colombia. Fans follow various racing formats, such as Formula 1, IndyCar, and MotoGP.

Juan Pablo Montoya is arguably Colombia’s most famous driver, known for his success in Formula 1, IndyCar, and the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race. Colombian motorsports enthusiasts ardently follow Montoya’s endeavors and are proud of his accomplishments.

Motorsports events in Colombia, such as the World Rally Championship, further contribute to the growing fan base and the sport’s spirited development across the nation.

#7 Basketball

Basketball
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Mid-1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player in or from Colombia: ร“scar Tรณrres (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: 300,000

Basketball in Colombia has been steadily growing in popularity, with many aspiring to achieve greatness both locally and abroad. Though not yet as popular as soccer, basketball is gaining a dedicated following in the country.

The Colombian professional league, Liga de Baloncesto Profesional, is the most popular basketball competition within the nation. Colombians are also avid watchers of the NBA, admiring international players and teams. ร“scar Tรณrres, a talented Colombian who played in the NBA for the Houston Rockets, has given Colombian fans a sense of pride and inspiration.

With more young talent emerging, basketball’s popularity is set to rise further in Colombia.

#8 Athletics

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Athlete from Colombia: Caterine Ibargรผen (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Colombia: 1 Million

Athletics, encompassing various track and field events, has long been a part of Colombia’s sporting landscape. The nation has produced several renowned athletes, who have excelled in international competitions like the Olympics and World Championships.

Caterine Ibargรผen, a Colombian long jump and triple jump athlete, is an inspiration to the nation with her Olympic gold medal and multiple World Championship wins. Colombian fans ardently follow international athletics competitions, rooting for their compatriots on the grandest stages.

The continued dedication to athletics in Colombia has led to numerous successes and a growing enthusiasm for the sport among the younger generations.

#9 Baseball

Baseball
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player from Colombia: Edgar Renterรญa (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย  Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: 100,000

Baseball, though not as popular as soccer, has a dedicated following in certain regions of Colombia, particularly in coastal areas like Barranquilla and Cartagena. The sport holds a distinctive place in the country’s athletic landscape.

The Liga Colombiana de Bรฉisbol Profesional (LCBP) is the most popular baseball league in the nation. Additionally, Colombian fans keep an eye on Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States, where several Colombian players have made their mark. Edgar Renterรญa, a former MLB All-Star known for his World Series-winning hit in 1997, is arguably Colombia’s most famous baseball player.

Baseball’s cultural impact in Colombia continues to inspire new generations of players and fans, fuelling its growth and recognition.

#10 Bowling

  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Mid-1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player from Colombia: Clara Juliana Guerrero (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย  Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: 50,000

Bowling has become a popular recreational activity and sport in Colombia, enjoyed by casual players and serious athletes alike. With numerous bowling alleys across the country, the sport has gradually gained a foothold among Colombians.

One of Colombia’s most acclaimed bowling stars is Clara Juliana Guerrero, who has conquered multiple championships and built a loyal fan base. Her success on the international stage has significantly contributed to the sport’s growing reputation in the country.

With the efforts of athletes like Guerrero and the sport’s accessible nature, bowling in Colombia continues to attract new participants and fans, securing its place in the nation’s sports scene.

#11 Golf

Golf
  • ๐Ÿ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Colombia: Early 1900s
  • ๐ŸŒŸย Most Famous Player from Colombia: Camilo Villegas (Colombian)
  • ๐ŸŒย  Estimated Number of Players in Colombia: 75,000

Golf in Colombia has experienced a steady growth in interest, particularly amongst the country’s middle and upper classes. The sport’s tranquil nature, coupled with its strategic gameplay, continues to draw in new players and spectators.

The Colombian Open, or Abierto de Colombia, is one of the most significant golf tournaments held in the country, attracting both national and international competitors. Camilo Villegas, a prominent Colombian golfer with multiple PGA Tour victories, has raised Colombia’s profile in the golfing world and inspired local players to pursue the sport.

Golf’s increasing popularity in Colombia is evident in the country’s expanding number of beautiful courses and talented players, signaling a bright future for the sport.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Colombia?

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in Colombia, deeply integrated into the country’s culture and enjoyed by a vast majority of the population, often rallying around the national team during international tournaments.

What is the national sport of Colombia?

The national sport of Colombia is Tejo, a traditional game with roots in pre-Columbian times. Although not as widely followed as soccer, Tejo holds a unique position in Colombian culture, history, and national identity.

What are the most watched sports in Colombia?

The most watched sports in Colombia are soccer (football), followed by cycling, boxing, roller skating, motorsports, basketball, athletics, baseball, bowling, and golf. Each of these sports has a significant fan base and viewership throughout the country.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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