Sport in Ecuador
|Part of a series on the|
Since 2005, Ecuador has been greatly involved in sports, and hosted the Guayaquil Marathon in Ecuador's largest city.
Football is the most popular sport in Ecuador. Its best known professional teams include Barcelona and Emelec from Guayaquil, LDU Quito, Deportivo Quito, and El Nacional from Quito, Olmedo from Riobamba, and Deportivo Cuenca from Cuenca.
The national team's matches are the most watched sporting events in the country. In June 2007, FIFA adopted a resolution, prohibiting international football games at or higher than 2,500m 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 Cup. Ecuador finished ahead of Poland and Costa Rica, to come in second to Germany in Group A, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Futsal, often referred to as índor, is particularly popular for mass participation.
Baseball is the second most popular sport in Ecuador, and is second only to "fútbol". There are baseball teams from Guayaquil, Quito, and Cuenca who compete in the Ecuador Baseball League, which features 15 teams. Before the 2008 Summer Olympics, Ecuador lost in qualifying for Baseball at the Summer Olympics.
There is a considerable interest in tennis in the middle and upper classes in Ecuadorian society, and several Ecuadorian professional players have attained international fame, including Nicolás Lapentti, Francisco Segura, and Andrés Gómez.
Ecuador has competed in eleven Summer Olympic Games. They have never competed in the Winter Olympic Games. The nation from South America won its first Olympic medal, when Jefferson Pérez won the gold medal in the Men's 20 km Walk. The Ecuadorian Olympic Committee was created in 1948 and recognized by the IOC in 1959.
 Other sports
Basketball has a high profile, while Ecuador's specialties include ecuavóley, a three-person variation of volleyball from the highlands of Ecuador. Bullfighting is practiced at a professional level in Quito, during the annual festivities that commemorate the Spanish founding of the city, and also features in festivals in many smaller towns. Rugby union is found to some extent in Ecuador, with teams in Guayaquil, Quito, and Cuenca. Pelota nacional, an indigenous racquet sport, is also played. Surfing is popular in some coastal towns. Winter sports are very popular up in the Andes mountains, where it is most available.
There is flourishing activity in non-traditional sports such as inline hockey, capoeira, mountain biking, motorbiking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, and paintball. Martin Davalos, from Pichincha, Quito, is a well-known accomplished AMA motocross and supercross dirtbike rider and racer. Some coastal resorts, particularly Montañita and Ayampe, have been developed as surfing centres. The 2005 World Rafting Championships were held on the Quijos River in Napo Province. 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.