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Facts About Cuba’s Sports

Facts About Cuba’s Sports

DID YOU KNOW THAT… Cocaine was the drug used by the disgraced Cuban sportsman Javier Sotomayor Sanabria, who has been known for his stunning disqualification from the 1999 Pan American Games in Canada. After a failed drug test and an investigation, the ODEPA (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 have only seen that substance in the movies. I am the victim of a maneuver, 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 specializes in the 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 most poorest black African countries…

DID YOU KNOW THAT… Cuba sent only 7 athletes to the 2007 World University Games in Thailand, heeding Fidel Castro´s fears about future defections…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 place, after the Peoples´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 THAT… For political reasons, Cuba boycotted the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, El Salvador.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… Like Czechoslovakia (currently Czech Republic), Hungary, Poland,East Germany (currently Germany), Bulgaria, North Korea and the USSR, Cuba boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles(Unites States). Some Cuban sportspersons -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 THAT… In the 1940s and 1950s, baseball became the most popular sport in Cuba, thanks to such heroes as 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, with Nicaragua second and the United States taking 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 ranked fourth, after Argentina, United States, and Chile.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… 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 THAT… Lissethe Bustamante, a Cuban journalist and witer, known for her interviews with Fidel Castro has alleged that she was 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 THAT… The 1991 Pan American Games were held in Havana, Cuba, between August 2 and August 18, with 39 countries participating. The 1991 Pan American Games were a huge source of pride for Fidel Castro Ruz.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… Between August 25 and September 2, 2007, the Cuban delegation participated in the World Track and Field Championships in Osaka,Japan. Overall, the Cuban delegation ranked 11th place, after the United States, Kenya (Africa), Russia, Ethiopia (Africa), Germany, Czech Republic, Australia, Jamaica (Caribbean), Bahamas (Caribbean), Great Britain and Belarus.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… In 1987,Cuba did not compete at the Women´s World Junior Volleyball Championships in Seoul (South Korea). The reason: There was not diplomatic relations between Cuba and South Korea.

DID YOU KNOW THAT… In the 1970s, Alberto Juantorena, a famous Cuban runner, 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 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 Olympic Games in South Korea.