Duno First Venezuelan Athlete to be Inducted

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 26, 2010) – Racer car driver Milka Duno will be inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame at the 35th Annual Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Laredo, TX this Saturday, January 30, 2010.

Duno will be the first Venezuelan athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1975 to recognize individuals who have excelled in sports and/or have contributed to the promotion of sports and goodwill in the Latino community.

The Hall of Fame serves to honor and salute the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of local, regional, national and international athletes and sports personalities that have enhanced the heritage of Latinos in sport.

"The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame is proud and honored to have selected Milka Duno as a 2010 inductee.  Milka was selected for her racing achievements, her personal excellence in education and her passion in stressing the importance of education to students of all ages,” said Pitin Guajardo, Founder, Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame. “We have been able to bring major national and international sports figures from every sport to our city to honor them for their athletic excellence - while also recognizing athletes and supporters of athletics from the local and surrounding area. This unique opportunity opens Laredo to the world of sports and focuses attention on our city every year at this time.”

“I’m honored to have been selected as an inductee for the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame 35th Anniversary Induction Ceremony – and very proud as well to be the first Venezuelan athlete inducted!” said Duno. “As a young girl growing up many athletes served as inspirations for me – as athletes have for millions of children all over the world– and I feel that it is important for young people to have these sources of inspiration. I never imagined that one day I might be recognized in this way. It is both a privilege and a responsibility to be included among all the other Hall of Fame alumni and I will do my best to live up to that privilege and responsibility.”

Duno's racing career to date has generated remarkable and historical results –some of which include:

  • First woman in history to win a major international race in North America.
  • Eight professional career race wins at top levels. Numerous wins at minor levels.
  • First Hispanic woman, in 93-year history of the race, to compete in the Indy 500.
  • First Hispanic woman to compete in the IndyCar Series.
  • First Hispanic woman to lead an IndyCar Series race.
  • Historic 2nd place finish and highest finish ever by a female driver in the 24 Hours of Daytona in its 45-year history.
  • Three wins in the Rolex Grand American Series.
  • Five wins in the American Le Mans Series.
  • First woman to win at Petit Le Mans – has won twice.
  • In only 2nd year of racing named "Venezuelan Auto Racing Driver of the Year"
  • In only 2nd year of racing won first racing championship – Panoz GT Series.
  • Crowned Vice-Champion Driver in American Le Mans LMP 675 Championship.
  • First woman to reach the podium in GTS Class of American Le Mans Series.
  • First woman to drive LMP 900 – fastest car in American Le Mans Series.
  • First woman to drive Daytona Prototype – fastest car in Rolex Series.
  • Twice competing at legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, France.
  • Invited by Porsche AG to be VIP Porsche Supercup Driver at F1 GP of Spain.
  • First woman to drive the fastest car in Europe's World Series by Nissan.
  • First woman to score points in Europe's World Series by Nissan.
  • First woman to win a Ferrari Challenge racing in the USA.

A vast array of athletes and sports personalities have been recognized throughout the Hall’s history.  These include athletes from the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands, as well as Central and South America. Hall of Fame alumni include athletes such as Major League Baseball’s Minnie Minoso (Chicago White Sox), Juan Marichal (San Francisco Giants), Orlando Cepeda (St. Louis Cardinals) and Tony Perez (Cincinnati Reds), the National Football League’s Danny Villanueva (Dallas Cowboys), Orlando Canizales (Boxing) and USA Olympic Gold Medalists Crystal Bustos (Softball), Lisa Fernandez (Softball), and Steve Lopez (Martial Arts – Taekwondo) – to name a few.

In conjunction with the Hall of Fame and through her “Milka Way” program Duno will be speaking to students at United High School in Laredo on Friday, January 29 as part of the two-day Hall of Fame schedule of activities.

Duno, a qualified Naval Engineer with four master's degrees - in Organizational Development, Naval Architecture, Aquaculture and Maritime Business (earning the last three degrees simultaneously) – will speak to the students about how a strong academic background will benefit them their entire life – in all aspects of their life – and in any career they choose.

“I am very passionate about education and I want to do everything that I can to inspire students of all ages to study hard and aim for the stars," says Duno. “I feel blessed to be able to speak with students here in Texas as part of the Hall of Fame’s 35th Anniversary Induction activities."

For more informational on Milka Duno please visit
For more information about the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame please see


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