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Facts About Cuba’s Sports
DID YOU KNOW… Cocaine was the drug used by disgraced Cuban athlete Javier Sotomayor Sanabria, who is known for his stunning disqualification from the 1999 Pan American Games in Canada. After a failed drug test and an investigation, ODEPA (Pan American Sports Organization), ordered Cuban jumper Javier Sotomayor Sanabria to return the gold medal he won in the high jump. He said: “I’ve only seen that substance in movies. I’m the victim of a trick, a dirty trick.”
DID YOU KNOW… The most famous Sudanese athlete in history, Yamilé Aldama was born in Havana, Cuba. Yamilé Aldama is a Sudanese athlete specializing in triple jump and long jump. She represented Cuba until 2003 (Pan American Games and World Championships). After she became a Sudanese citizen. Sudan is one of the poorest African countries with black…
DID YOU KNOW… Cuba sent only 7 athletes to the 2007 World University Games in Thailand, considering Fidel Castro’s fears of future defections… The Cuban delegation had athletes competing in two Olympic sports: judo (yanelis Mestre and Kaliema Antomadim ) and track and field (Andy Gonzáez, Yarianna Martínez, Yenimar Arencibia and Alexei Chivas). Overall, the Cuban team finished 40th, behind the People’s Republic of China, Great Britain, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, United States, Taiwan, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, Australia, Belarus, Mexico , Turkey, Austria. , Poland, Hungary, North Korea, Czech Republic, Morocco, Lithuania, Switzerland, Finland, France, Ukraine, Brazil, Romania, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Cyprus, Ireland, Latvia, Slovenia, Egypt, Mongolia and Portugal.
DID YOU KNOW… For political reasons, Cuba boycotted the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador.
DID YOU KNOW… Like Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), Hungary, Poland, East Germany (now Germany), Bulgaria, North Korea and the USSR, Cuba boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (United States). Some Cuban athletes – sprinter Sylvio Leonard, runner Alberto Juantorena, boxer Juan Hernández, hurdler Alejandro Casañas, volleyball players Mireya Luis Hernández, Mercedes “Mamita” Pérez, Mercedes Pomares, Imilcis Téllez, Josefinaontym Capoteall, and Josefinaont.
DID YOU KNOW… Niurka Montalvo is a Spanish long jumper. She was born on June 4, 1968 in Havana, Cuba. Like Magaly Esther Carvajal Rivera (volleyball player), Ivan Pérez Vargas (water polo player), Joan Lino Martínez (long jumper) and Rolando Uríos (handball player), she became a Spanish citizen in 1999.
DID YOU KNOW… In the 1940s and 1950s, baseball became the most popular sport in Cuba, thanks to heroes such as Adolfo Luque, Sandalio Consuegra, Conrado Marrera and Orestes Minoso.
DID YOU KNOW… Cuba hosted the second World Baseball Cup in 1939. The Cuban team won the championship, with Nicaragua second and the United States third…
DID YOU KNOW… Between February 25 and March 9, 1951, the Cuban delegation participated in the First Pan American Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, winning 7 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze medals. Overall, the Cuban team placed fourth, behind Argentina, the United States and Chile.
THAT DAY… From 1900 to 1958, Cuba had great athletes: Rafael Fortún (track and field), Angel García (track and field), Bertha Díaz (track and field), Margaret Chapman (diving), Ricardo Morales (tennis), Raul Capablanca (chess) and Ramón Fonst (fencing).
DID YOU KNOW… Lissethe Bustamante, a Cuban journalist and daily, known for her interviews with Fidel Castro, has claimed that she was raped by Olympic champion Teofilo Stevenson in 1984.
DID YOU KNOW… For political reasons, Cuba will not send a boxing team to the United States of America World Cup.
DID YOU KNOW… The 1991 Pan American Games were held in Havana, Cuba, between August 2 and 18, with 39 countries participating. The 1991 Pan American Games were a source of great pride for Fidel Castro Ruz.
DID YOU KNOW… Between August 25 and September 2, 2007, the Cuban delegation participated in the World Homeland Championship in Osaka, Japan. Overall, the Cuban delegation was ranked 11th, behind the United States, Kenya (Africa), Russia, Ethiopia (Africa), Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, Jamaica (Caribbean), Bahamas (Caribbean), Britain and Great Britain and Belarus.
DID YOU KNOW… In 1987, Cuba did not participate in the World Junior Volleyball Championship for Women in Seoul (South Korea). The reason: There were no diplomatic relations between Cuba and South Korea.
DID YOU KNOW… In the 1970s, Alberto Juantorena, a famous Cuban racer, was coached by Zygmunt Zabierzowski, who was born in Poland. Under the leadership of Zygmunt Zabierzowski, Alberto Juantorena won two gold medals at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.
DID YOU KNOW… For political reasons, Cuba did not send a baseball team to the 27th World Baseball Cup in South Korea in 1982.
DID YOU KNOW… Along with North Korea, Seychelles, Albania, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Nicaragua, Cuba boycotted the 1988 Olympic Games in South Korea.
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