Érika Olivera

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Érika Olivera
Erika Olivera OS2012.jpg
Olivera in the 2012 Summer Olympics marathon
Personal information
Full name Érika Alejandra Olivera de la Fuente
Born (1976-01-04) 4 January 1976 (age 41)
Santiago, Chile
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight 55 kg (121 lb)
Country  Chile
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Marathon
Updated on 13 May 2014.

Érika Alejandra Olivera de la Fuente (born 4 January 1976 in Quinta Normal) is a female marathon runner from Chile.[1] She has competed at five Olympic Games, the most Olympic appearances ever by a female marathon runner.[2]


She took the gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games, setting a Pan American Games record at 2:37.41 hours. She won a bronze at the following edition in 2003. Starting in 1996, she represented her native country in three consecutive Summer Olympics, and also the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Olivera made her breakthrough at the junior level in 1994 when she won the 10,000 metres gold and 3000 metres bronze medals at the South American Junior Championships in Athletics. The following year she upgraded to a gold and a silver medal at the Pan American Junior Championships, before going on to complete a hat-trick of medals at the South American Junior Championships – she secured a 10,000 m and 3000 m double and also won the 1500 metres silver behind Bertha Sánchez.[3][4]

Olivera is a two-time winner of the South American Cross Country Championships, having beaten all comers in both the long and short races in 1999.[5] She is a five-time winner and course record holder of the Santiago Marathon.[6] She won the 1995 edition of the Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina and placed fourth at the 74th Saint Silvester Marathon in 1998.

She enjoyed success on the track at continental level, completing a 10,000 metres/5000 metres silver medal double at both the 1997 and 2003 South American Championships in Athletics. Further to this, she won a silver and a bronze at the 1999 edition of the competition.[7] At the Ibero-American Championships, she has won medals in a number of events, beginning with a 5000 m gold medal and 10,000 m bronze in 1996, the 10,000 m gold at the 2000 edition, and finally a silver medal in the 3000 metres steeplechase in 2002.[8]

Her personal best for the marathon is 2:32:23, set at the 1999 Rotterdam Marathon, which is also the Chilean record for the event. She is also the national record holder over the half marathon, 10,000 m and 5000 m.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Erika Olivera was married with Ricardo Opazo, who was also her coach. Currently her couple is Chilean marathoner Leslie Encina. She has five children.

The athlete has always been critical with regard to sports financing in Chile, indicating the lack of financial support that she has had to overcome during her athletic career.

In 2015 Olivera manifested her intention of starting a political career once she finishes her athletic profession, considering that she will attempt to become a member of the Chilean Congress Cámara de Diputados de Chile, and showing interest in the Renovación Nacional party.[10]

In 2016 Olivera revealed that her stepfather had sexually abused her during twelve years of her childhood.[11][2]

Olympic results Olympic rings with white rims.svg[edit]

Olympic Games Discipline Place Time
United States 1996 Atlanta Marathon 37 2:39:06
Australia 2000 Sydney Marathon 27 2:35:07
Greece 2004 Athens Marathon 58 2:57:14
United Kingdom 2012 London Marathon 64 2:36:41
Brazil 2016 Rio de Janeiro Marathon 105 2:50:29

Note: Olivera missed the 2008 Summer Olympics due to pregnancy.[12]

Personal bests[edit]

  • 1500 m: 4:25.61Chile Talca, 11 April 1997
  • 3000 m: 9:21.73Chile Santiago, 1 May 1999
  • 5000 m: 15:51.45Brazil Río de Janeiro, 20 May 2000
  • 10,000 m: 33:23.12Chile Concepción, 30 November 1996
  • Half marathon: 1:11:54Chile Santiago, 10 September 2000
  • Marathon: 2:32:23Netherlands Rotterdam, 18 April 1999
  • 3000 m steeplechase: 10:48.75Guatemala Guatemala, 11 May 2002

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Chile
1992 South American Junior Championships Lima, Perú 6th 3000 m 10:32.7
5th 10,000 m 39:50.2
South American Youth Championships Santiago, Chile 9th 1500 m 4:56.23
5th 3000 m 10:20.73
1993 South American Junior Championships Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela 5th 3000 m 10:13.7
1994 South American Junior Championships Santa Fe, Argentina 3rd 3000 m 9:48.03
1st 10,000 m 34:14.4
World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 7th 10,000 m 34:36.96
South American Games Valencia, Venezuela 1st 3000 m 9:31.06
1st 10,000 m 34:40.9
1995 Pan American Games Mar del Plata, Argentina 7th 5000 m 16:13.76
8th 10,000 m 34.54.42
Pan American Junior Championships Santiago, Chile 2nd 3000 m 9:32.52
1st 10,000 m 34:43.10
South American Junior Championships Santiago, Chile 2nd 1500 m 10:05.42
1st 3000 m 9:30.73
1st 10,000 m 35:27.33
Buenos Aires Marathon Buenos Aires, Argentina 1st Marathon 2:45:02
1996 South American Cross Country Championships Asunción, Paraguay 2nd 6 km 21:51
Ibero-American Championships Medellín, Colombia 1st 5000 m 16:26.13
3rd 10,000 m 34:41.75
Olympic Games Atlanta, Georgia, United States 37th Marathon 2:39:06
1997 South American Cross Country Championships Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina 2nd 6 km 21:31
South American Championships Mar del Plata, Argentina 2nd 5000 m 15:52.27
2nd 10,000 m 33:56.98
1998 South American Games Cuenca, Ecuador 2nd 10,000 m
Saint Silvester Road Race São Paulo, Brazil 4th 15 km 53:33
1999 South American Cross Country Championships - Junior Artur Nogueira, Brazil 1st 4 km 14:05
1st 8 km 29:48
South American Championships Bogotá, Colombia 5th 1500 m 4:49.25
3rd 5000 m 17:15.17
2nd 10,000 m 34:45.70
Pan American Games Winnipeg, Canada 1st Marathon 2:37:41
2000 South American Cross Country Championships Cartagena, Colombia 3rd 4 km 13:24
3rd 8 km 28:12
Ibero-American Championships Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 5th 5000 m 15:51.45
1st 10,000 m 33:39.16
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 27th Marathon 2:35:07
2002 Ibero-American Championships Guatemala, Guatemala 3000 m DNF
5000 m DNF
2nd 3000 m steeplechase 10:48.5
South American Half Marathon Championships Buenos Aires, Argentina 1st Half marathon 1:14:51
2003 South American Cross Country Championships Asunción, Paraguay 4th 4 km 14:56
3rd 8 km 31:32
South American Championships Barquisimeto, Venezuela 2nd 5000 m 16:23.97
2nd 10,000 m 34:43.02
Pan American Games Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 3rd Marathon 2:44:52
2004 Ibero-American Championships Huelva, Spain 11th 5000 m 17:22.95
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 58th Marathon 2:57:14
2007 South American Cross Country Championships Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 8 km DNF
Pan American Games Río de Janeiro, Brazil Marathon DNF
2009 South American Cross Country Championships Concepción, Chile 8th 8 km 29:17
South American Championships Lima, Perú 5000 m DNF
2011 Pan American Games Guadalajara, México 5th Marathon 2:44:06
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 64th Marathon 2:36:41
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia Marathon DNF
2014 South American Games Santiago, Chile 6th 5000 m 16:37.84
7th 10,000 m 34:21.93
South American Marathon Championships Santiago, Chile 1st Marathon 2:36:08
2015 South American Championships Lima, Peru 10th 10,000 m 36:14.96
Pan American Games Toronto, Canada 11th Marathon 2:52:27
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 105th Marathon 2:50:29


  1. ^ Biografía - General - OLIVERA DE LA FUENTE Erika A. - Chile (in Spanish), retrieved May 13, 2014 
  2. ^ a b Arroyo, Lorena; Glickhouse, Rachel (13 August 2016). "After opening up about her past, Chilean Erika Olivera to run fifth Olympic marathon". Univisión Deportes. Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  3. ^ South American Junior Championships (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  4. ^ Pan American Junior Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  5. ^ Continental Cross Country Championships and Cups. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-03-02.
  6. ^ : Juraj Gasparovic & Klaas Loonstra (2010-04-13). Santiago Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  7. ^ South American Championships (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  8. ^ Ibero American Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  9. ^ Chilean Athletics Records - Women Outdoor. Fedachi. Retrieved on 2010-10-30.
  10. ^ "Erika Olivera busca su fondo político". La Tercera (in Spanish). 18 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "La dura revelación de Érika Olivera: fue abusada por su padrastro por doce años". La Tercera. 
  12. ^ Vallejos, Leonardo (5 May 2016). "Erika Olivera, la chilena con más JJ.OO.: "Yo también tengo escuelas, pero nunca le pediría ayuda a Farkas"" [Erika Olivera, the chilean with most Olympics: "I have schools also, but I would never ask Farkas for help"]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). Santiago. Retrieved 18 February 2017. I've only skipped Beijing 2008 because my son was born. Otherwise, it would be six in a row. 

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Denisse van Lamoen
Flagbearer for  Chile
Rio de Janeiro 2016
Succeeded by