By 1930, the team from Honduras captured the bronze medal -after Cuba (gold) and Costa Rica (silver)– in men’s football at the Second Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana, Cuba. Understandably, soccer is the most popular sport in Honduras.
By October 1975,the Republic of Honduras sent a team of 14 athletes, led by its young athlete Santiago Fonseca, to the United Mexican States, home to the VII Pan American Games. This Spanish-speaking nation competed in athletics ( 4), boxing (4), cycling (5), and shooting (1). Curiously Tegucigalpa -as Belize, Bolivia, and Paraguay-did not send sportswomen to Mexico City. On the other hand, the national delegation, once again, did not win Pan American medals. However, the best athlete was Santiago Fonseca, the “star of the Honduran Olympic team”, who finished sixth in the men’s 20-kilometer walk ( in a time of 1.44.10,64), ahead of Ernesto Alfaro (Colombia, South American champ) and José Valle (Nicaragua). Prior to 1975, Honduran athletes had finished last place in the Pan American Games.
By 1979, the Honduran Olympic Committee had sent Santiago Fonseca, a racewalker, to the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico. During that event, he came in fourth place in the men’s 20-kilometer walk. However, Fonseca’s notable performance was interrupted when he could not go to Moscow, home to the Summer Olympics in July and August 1980. In Tegucigalpa, the nation’s capital, Mr Fonseca used his symbol as a national champ to raise awareness about the potential of sport to help young people.
Because of the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, like many anti-Communist nations, Honduras declined to send an national delegation to the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, USSR (present-day Russia). The decision was another blow to sport in Honduras, with one of the worst Olympic systems in the Western Hemisphere.
Due to its anti-Soviet policy, Honduras, along with El Salvador and Colombia, boycotted the XIV Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana, Cuba, in the early 80s. At that time, Tegucigalpa had not diplomatic ties with Cuba and other Communist states.
The nation’s swimmer Ana Fortin came in 33rd place in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the 1988 Summer Games, between Chi Wang (Taiwan) and Tricia Duncan (US Virgin Islands).
The Latin American country won its first Pan American medal in the Continental Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in the mid-1990s.
In 1996, Darwin Angeles, a boxer, was the flag-bearer for the country’s Olympic delegation in the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta (Georgia, U.S.).
At the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador, the team of Honduras finished 16th in the medal count, with nine medals (1 silver and eight bronze).