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2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Latin American Athletes to Watch at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen competes in the women's triple jump

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen competes in the women's triple jump during the International Athletics Grand Prix at Athletics Stadium Pedro Grajales in Cali, Colombia, on June 25, 2016. LUIS ROBAYO / AFP - Getty Images

The much anticipated Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio start on Friday, and Olympians have been training to compete on a global stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

All nations are sending a combination of both younger more "rookie" athletes and veterans. The fresh faces are looking to make an impact on the tournament, and the returning athletes aim to defend their titles and world records.

Here’s a list of athletes from some of our home countries we'll be watching at the Summer Olympic Games.

Mariana Pajón — Cycling BMX

UCI BMX Super Cross World Cup - Santiago del Estero
BMX cyclist Mariana Pajon of Colombia looks during the Time Trial event during the UCI BMX Super Cross World Cup on March 25, 2016 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina Maximiliano Blanco / LatinContent/Getty Images

Age: 24

Born: Medellín, Colombia

Team: Colombia

Pajón, the “Queen of BMX” was born and raised in Colombia. She won her first Olympic Gold Medal at the summer 2012 Olympics and is also a four-time BMX World Champion. She’s defended her World Champion title since 2014 and looks to do the same this summer in the Olympics.

Mijaín López — Wrestler

Gold Medalist Cuban Mijain Lopez Nunez p
Gold Medalist Cuban Mijain Lopez Nunez poses for a photograph on the podium during the medal ceremony of the men's 120 kg greco roman style at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London on August 6, 2012 ADEK BERRY / AFP/Getty Images

Age: 33

Born: Pinar del Río, Cuba

Team: Cuba

López is a Cuban wrestler that has represented his island nation twice. Winning gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling, López looks to end his career with a third straight gold medal at this year’s 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Follow NBC News Coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio here.

María Guadalupe González — Race Walker

IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships - Day One
Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez in action during the woman's 20Km Race Walk at IAAF World Race Walking Team Championship Rome 2016 on May 7, 2016 in Rome, Italy Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images for IAAF

Age: 27

Born: Mexico City, Mexico

Team: Mexico

María Guadalupe González is breaking barriers for Mexican women. She first competed as a boxer but due to knee injuries she left the sport and later had a career shift and started to compete in Racewalking. At her most recent tournament, she won a silver medal at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome 2016. Before that, she won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and at the Pan American Race Walking Cup.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior — Soccer

Brazil v Uruguay - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers
Neymar of Brazil reacts during a match between Brazil and Uruguay as part of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers at Arena Pernanbuco on March 25, 2016 in Recife, Brazil Buda Mendes / Getty Images

Age: 24

Born: Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil

Team: Brazil

Known as Neymar, the Brazilian National Team captain had an incredible season this year with his club FC Barcelona. After sitting out this year’s La Copa America, Neymar will be rested and hungry to keep that Gold Medal in Brazil after losing in the finals to Mexico in the summer 2012 Olympics.

Rubén Limardo — Fencing

Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates victory
Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates victory in the Men's Epee Individual Fencing Gold medal match against Bartosz Piasecki of Norway on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England Hannah Johnston / Getty Images

Age: 30

Born: Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

Team: Venezuela

Limardo Gascón is an épée fencer from Venezuela. Limardo won a gold medal for his native country at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the individual épée competition. He is looking to defend his title this year in Rio and bring back a special award as he will be his country's flag bearer this year.

Caterine Ibargüen — Athletics

Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia celebrates after winning gold
Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia celebrates after winning gold in the Women's Triple Jump final during day three of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Age: 32

Born: Apartadó, Colombia

Team: Colombia

Ibargüen can jump out of her shoes. She competes in high jump, long jump and triple jump. Since she's started the Colombian has won two gold medals while participating in the IAAF World Championships, a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and two gold medals at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games.

Fernando Gaviria — Cycling Track

Colombia's Fernando Gaviria Rendon celebrates after winning the Men's Omnium
Colombia's Fernando Gaviria Rendon celebrates after winning the Men's Omnium during the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London on March 5, 2016 Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images

Age: 21

Born: La Ceja, Colombia

Team: Colombia

Fernando Gaviria Rendon is a Colombian professional road and track racing cyclist who is well known for his ability to pass oponentss while maintaining high speeds on his bicycle. His sprinting techniques grabbed the attention of the Cycling world when he beat former Tour de San Luis champion Mark Cavendish in two sprint finishes. His sister Juliana Gaviria will also be racing for team Colombia this summer.

Mayra Aguiar - Judo

Brazil's Judoka Mayra Aguiar Poses with her Gold Medal
Brazil's judoka Mayra Aguiar pose with the gold medal after the under 78 kg category competition at the IJF World Judo Championship in Chelyabinsk on August 29, 2014 VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP/Getty Images

Age: 24

Born: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Team: Brazil

Mayra Aguiar is a Brazilian judoka who began training for the sport when she was just a little girl. She has been training most of her life with her sports idols, most of whom are men. She has won many medals through the years but only took bronze at the last Summer Olympics in 2012 in London. Looking to win her first Olympic gold, Aguiar will come out with venom that will leave a sting.

Idalys Ortiz - Judo

Cuban Olympic Judo Champion Idalis Ortiz
Cuban Olympic judo champion Idalis Ortiz takes a break at a gym in Havana, on June 17, 2016, where she trains for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games ADALBERTO ROQUE / AFP/Getty Images

Age: 26

Born: Pinar del Río, Cuba

Team: Cuba

Ortiz was the youngest Olympic medalist to receive a medal in the heavyweight Judoka category. At the age of 18 years old she took home the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She won her first medal in 2007 at the Pan American Judo Championships. This summer she looks to take home her first Olympic gold medal.

Isaquias Queiroz— Canoe Sprint

Brazilian Canoe Sprint competitor Isaquias Queiroz - Brazil Olympics Awards Ceremony 2015
Brazilian Canoe Sprint competitor Isaquias Queiroz is awarded during the ceremony of Brazil's Olympics award Premio Brasil Olimpico at Bradesco Theater on December 15, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Buda Mendes / Getty Images

Age: 22

Born: Ubaitaba, Bahia, Brazil

Team: Brazil

Isaquias has been competing with his canoe in the sprint event since 2005. He won Brazilian Sportsman of the Year in 2015 where he shared the award with fellow teammates who represent Brazil. Isaquias was the first Brazilian to win the ICF Sprint World Championship and won 4 more gold medals afterwards. He is a two-time gold medalist at the Pan American Games and three-time gold medalist at the World Championships.

Follow NBC News Coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio here.

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