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Facts About Cuba’s Sports
DID YOU KNOW… Cocaine was the drug used by disgraced Cuban sportsman Javier Sotomayor Sanabria, known for his stunning disqualification from the 1999 Pan American Games in Canada. After a failed drug test and investigation, PASO (Pan American Sports Organization) ordered Cuban high jumper Javier Sotomayor Sanabria to return the gold medal he won in the high jump. He said: “I’ve only seen this stuff in the movies. I’m the victim of a trick, a dirty trick”.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… The most famous Sudanese athlete in history, Yamilé Aldama was born in Havana, Cuba. Yamilé Aldama is a Sudanese athlete specializing in the triple jump and the long jump. She represented Cuba until 2003 (Pan American Games and World Championships). After becoming a Sudanese citizen. Sudan is one of the poorest countries in black Africa…
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Cuba only sent 7 athletes to the 2007 World University Games in Thailand, taking into account Fidel Castro’s fears of future defections… The Cuban delegation had athletes competing in two sports Olympics: judo (yanelis Mestre and Kaliema Antomadim) and athletics (Andy Gonzáez, Yarianna Martínez, Yenimar Arencibia and Alexei Chivas). In total, the Cuban team finished in 40th place, after the People’s Republic of China, Great Britain, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, the United States, Taiwan, Italy, the Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, Australia, Belarus, Mexico, Turkey and 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 THAT… For political reasons, Cuba boycotted the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador.
DID YOU KNOW… Such as Czechoslovakia (currently Czech Republic), Hungary, Poland, East Germany (currently Germany), Bulgaria, North Korea and USSR, Cuba boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (USA). 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, Josefina Capote and Leonel Marshall – lost their Olympic opportunities.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… 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 like Adolfo Luque, Sandalio Consuegra, Conrado Marrera and Orestes Miñoso.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Cuba hosted the 2nd Baseball World Cup in 1939. The Cuban team won the championship, Nicaragua second and the United States third…
DID YOU KNOW THAT… 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, after Argentina, the United States and Chile.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… From 1900 to 1958, Cuba had great athletes: Rafael Fortún (athletics), Angel García (athletics), Bertha Díaz (athletics), Margaret Chapman (diving), Ricardo Morales (tennis), Raul Capablanca (chess) and Ramón Fonst (fencing).
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Lissethe Bustamante, Cuban journalist and writer, known for her interviews with Fidel Castro, claimed to have been raped by Olympic champion Teofilo Stevenson in 1984.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… For political reasons, Cuba will not send a boxing team to the World Cup in the United States.
DID YOU KNOW… The 1991 Pan American Games were held in Havana, Cuba, August 2-18, with 39 countries participating. The 1991 Pan American Games were a source of immense pride for Fidel Castro Ruz.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Between August 25 and September 2, 2007, the Cuban delegation participated in the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. Overall, the Cuban delegation ranked 11th, after the United States, Kenya (Africa), Russia, Ethiopia (Africa), Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, Jamaica (Caribbean), the Bahamas (Caribbean), Great Britain and Belarus.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… In 1987, Cuba did not participate in the Women’s Junior World Volleyball Championships in Seoul (South Korea). The reason: There were no diplomatic relations between Cuba and South Korea.
DID YOU KNOW… In the 1970s, famous Cuban runner Alberto Juantorena was coached by Polish-born Zygmunt Zabierzowski. Under Zygmunt Zabierzowski, Alberto Juantorena won two gold medals at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… For political reasons, Cuba did not send a baseball team to the 27th Baseball World Cup in South Korea in 1982.
DID YOU KNOW THAT… Along with North Korea, Seychelles, Albania, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Nicaragua, Cuba boycotted the 1988 Olympics in South Korea.
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