Aguida (or Agueda) Amaral (born May 27, 1972) is an East Timorese athlete. She was one of the first athletes to represent East Timor at the Olympic Games, when she ran the marathon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. She technically competed as an individual athlete because East Timor was newly independent and had not yet been formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee. With a time of 3:10:55, she finished 43rd out of the 45 runners who completed the race, although eight other runners failed to finish.
The Associated Press reported:
The Sydney Olympics followed East Timor's declaration of independence from Indonesia in 1999, and the ensuing violence. Amaral had fled her home in Dili, stayed in a refugee camp, and returned eventually to find it looted and burned. Along with her home and other belongings, her only pair of running shoes had been destroyed in the arson attack. She trained for the Olympics by running barefoot, until shoes were donated to her by Australia.
CNN described her arrival in the stadium as "the most moving moment" of the race.[dead link] The New York Times wrote that her "performance in the Sydney Games inspired the world", and described her as "a source of national pride".
Amaral competed again at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, this time formally representing East Timor - the only one aside from fellow marathonist Gil Da Cruz Trindade. She finished with a time of 3:18:25, being 65th of the 66 runners who completed the marathon - her time over half an hour faster than that of Mongolia's Luvsanlkhündegiin Otgonbayar.[dead link]
|Competed as an Independent Olympic Athletes|
|2000||Olympic Games||Sydney, Australia||43rd||3:10:55|
|2004||Olympic Games||Athens, Greece||65th||3:18:25|
|2005||World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||—||DNF|