Sylvia Poll Ahrens became the most outstanding sportsperson in her country after winning the first Olympic medal for Costa Rica in the Seoul games in 1988 in the Women’s 200m freestyle event.


She also won 8 medals in the Pan American Games in 1987. She still holds two records in Costa Rica (100m freestyle and 100m backstroke).


Very aware of the issue of development, Sylvia is very active in promoting peace through sport. In September 2014 she started to work at a UN organization in Geneva. This is her new position: Head, Project Support Division, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), International Telecommunication Union, Geneva.


Acting together with Peace and Sport


On the occasion of the 10th edition of the Central American Games in San José, Costa Rica, Sylvia participated in the organization of 2 Peace and Sport workshops gathering Costa Rican Sports Federations and then all Central American NOCs. She is now involved along with Peace and Sport in the creation of a Central American Commission for Peace through Sport which objectives are: offering a platform of collaboration and dialogue on “peace through sport” for the 7 Central American NOCs, encouraging them to build peace through sport programs at a national and regional level, defining a peace through sport strategy for the region, and building partnerships with other stakeholders (governments, civil society, media, private sector, public, …).




Sylvia was a member of the Champions for Peace team at the 2012 Monaco TriStar triathlon competition.