Peruvian gymnast Ariana Orrego qualifies for 2016 Olympics, makes history

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Peruvian gymnast Ariana Orrego, at 17 years of age, has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, scheduled for Aug. 5-21, reports _Andina_.

With this accomplishment she has become the first female gymnast to represent Peru at the most competitive sports competition in the world.

She will join the Peruvian delegation composed of runners, taekwondoists, swimmers, rowers, sailors and more in Rio.

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“Ariana Orrego has had a sustained training; at age 14, she moved to United states with the aim of qualifying for the Olympic Games,” said Maggie Martinelli, Peruvian National Gymnastics Federation President, according to _Andina_ news agency.

Having competed in international competitions has given Ariana the experience she needs to advance in the Olympic Games this year, and become Peru’s first gymnast to do it.

“The international connection is definitely important, and facing better-trained rivals hardens athletes. Besides, gymnastics is a sport practiced at a full coliseum; thus, personality is important,” said Martinelli.

So far, Peruvians set to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games includes Ines Melchor, Gladys Tejeda, Jovana de la Cruz, Raul Pacheco, Christian Pacheco, Kimberly Garcia and Pavel Chihuan; sailors Paloma Schmidt and Stefano Peschiera; taekwondist Julissa Diez Canseco; swimmer Andrea Cedron; shooters Marko Carrillo and Francisco Boza; rider Alonso Valdez; as well as rowers Renzo Leon and Camila Valle.

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Hillary Ojeda

Hillary moved to Peru in August of 2014 to learn Spanish, live with her family, and pursue writing. Born and raised in Bakersfield, Ca, Hillary earned her B.A. in Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley. Since moving to Peru she drinks fermented potato and coca concoctions daily and is enjoying learning about the abundant and natural andean foods of the country. Hillary hopes one day to become an investigative journalist. You can follow her blog.