Latin America at the 1948 London Olympics
A total of nine nations from Latin America competed in the Summer Olympic games held in London sixty four years ago.
Argentina sent the largest number of athletes (199) and won the most medals (7), including gold for men’s marathon and boxing.
Brazil and Cuba each won a single medal: a bronze in men’s basketball for Brazil, and a silver in sailing for Cuba.
Chile and Colombia also participated but left without any medals.
Mexico won five medals, four of them in equestrian events. Humberto Mariles, an officer in the Mexican military, became the first and only Mexican athlete to win two gold medals at the Olympics. Mexico’s most successful Olympic athlete, diver Joaquín Capilla, won the first of his four career Olympic medals at the 1948 London games.
Panama sent only one athlete to the 1948 London Olympics, sprinter Lloyd La Beach, and he came away with two medals, both bronze, becoming his country’s first ever Olympic medalist.
Peru’s sport shooter Edwin Vázquez Cam won his country’s first and only Olympic gold medal in London.
The 1948 London games were Puerto Rico’s first Olympics. The island came away with its first Olympic medal, a bronze for boxer Julio Evangelista Venegas. All of Puerto Rico’s Olympic medals so far have been in boxing.
Venezuela sent its first athlete to the Olympics that year, a cyclist named Julio César León, but he came away without any medals.
London also hosted the 1908 Olympics, but there were no Latin American competitors that year, unlike the 1904 and the 1900 games.