Juan Maegli, a Guatemalan athlete who attends the College of Charleston in South Carolina, will carry the Guatemalan flag in the opening ceremonies today at the London Olympics. Juan’s sport is sailing; he has represented Guatemala in competition since he was eight years old. Sailing is in Maegli’s blood: His father, Juan Estuardo Maegli, participated in the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, Moscow in 1980, and Los Angeles in 1984.
Juan Maegli won the bronze medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in the Hobie 16 catamaran class; and the gold medal at the 2007 Pan-Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2008, he competed in his first Olympics in Beijing, China, where he placed 33rd in the laser class. In London, Maegli’s dream is to bring home the first medal for Guatemala.
But simply to participate in an Olympics is the ultimate honor for any athlete. Look for Juan Maegli carrying the Guatemalan flag during the opening ceremony, broadcast this evening in the US on NBC.