DID YOU KNOW …
Taismary Aguero was born and raised in Cuba before becoming a naturalized Italian citizen. She is one of the most famous volleyball players in the 2000s. Under the hands of Taismary Aguero, Cuba won the gold medal in volleyball in the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. However, she escaped to Italy in 2001 and having won a national team call-up became the first naturalized volleyball player to score for Italy. Perhaps her greatest triumph was captivating her new country to their first World Cup triumph in Tokyo, Japan, in 2007. Ironically, Italy, led by the amazing play of Taismary Aguero, defeated Cuba 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-16) in the finals.
Cuba did not send a boxing team to the 1985 World Cup in Seoul, South Korea's capital. Why? Because Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz did not recognize South Korea as an independent and sovereign country. There were many famous boxers who did not go to Korea: Juan Torres Odelin, Pedro Orlando Reyes, Arnaldo Mesa Borell, Jesus Sollet Tomasen, Adolfo Horta Martinez, Eduardo Correa Ferrer, Candelario Duvergel Odelin, Angel Espinoza Capo, Julio Quintana Martinez, Pablo Romero Hernandez and Teofilo Stevenson Lawrence.
Ramon Fonst Segundo has won more Olympic gold medals than Teofilo Stevenson (boxing), Alberto Juantorena Danger (track and field), Mireya Luis Hernandez (volleyball) and Felix Savon Fabre (boxing). Who is he? Ramon Fonst was a famous fencer in the 1900s, 1920s and 1930s.
He was born into a sports-oriented family in the Cuban capital of Havana on August 31, 1883. His father was a sportsman in the 1870s and 1880s. Like Jose Raul Capablanca (chess) and Eligio Sardinas Montalvo (boxing), he was an athlete who always competed with love for Cuba.
Ramón Fonst obtained 125 medals in competitions held in Europe, Latin America and North America. In the 1900 Olympic Games in France, Ramon won the gold medal in the epee event, and in the 1904 Summer Olympics in the United States, he won three gold medals. In 1926, he won two gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico City. Certainly, Ramon Fonst is the greatest Latin American athlete of the 20th century.
In the early 1990s, large number of athletes began leaving their country because of poor economic conditions there and severe treatment by the secret police. Manyought refugee in the United States, Spain and Canada.
Cuba sent 2 athletes to the 2003 World University Games, which were held in Daegu, South Korea. They were Yordanis Arencibia and Yurileidys Lupetey (judo).
The 1987 World Junior Volleyball Championship was boycotted by Cuba. The place: South Korea. For the first time since 1978, volleyball players from Cuba did not part in an Olympic tournament. The team Cuban did not defend its world title it had won in Rome two years before.
Cuba sent 120 athletes to the 1973 World Student Games, which were held in Moscow, USSR (currently Russia). The Cuban contingent involved in nine Olympic sports: basketball, athletics, fencing, gymnastics, volleyball, waterpolo, diving, tennis and wrestling. The best athlete was Alberto Juantorena, who won a gold medal in the men's 400 meters.
The Second Baseball World Cup was played in 1939 in Cuba. Three teams took part and the hosts beat Nicaragua in the final in Havana.
In 2006, Osmany Juantorena Portuondo was the 18th Cuban athlete to be disqualified for drugs. He is Alberto Juantorena's grandson.
The Cuban dictatorship restricts the sports people's contacts with non-allies nations (especially South Korea, Poland, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Hungary and the Czech Republic). It allows few Cuban athletes to travel outside the country.
DID YOU ALSO KNOW THAT:
Like Alexandre Alekhine (France), Bobby Fischer (USA) and Garry Gasparov (Russia), Jose Raul Capablanca y Graupera is considered by experts as one of the most important chess players of the twenty century. He won the title of world chess champion from 1921 to 1927.
Where was Jose Capablanca born? He was born on November 19, 1888, in Havana.
The problem of illegal drug usage among Cuban athletes closed the competition in the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. The most intolerable disqualification was Cuban weighlifter Daniel Nunez, who had won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, URSS. He was voted athlete of the year for 1982 by Prensa Latina.
Jorge Enrico Blanco was one of the Cuba's best known and well-loved boxers. Why? In 1967, he won the Pan American lightweight title.
In the Olympic Games of 1904, the Cuban fencing team won 8 medals (3 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronzes).
Maria Teresa Mora Iturralde was a famous chess player. In 1922, she won the National Chess Championship of Cuba.
From 1954 to 1968, Bertha Diaz won 258 gold medals. At the Pan American Games in 1955, she won the 60-meter sprint and qualified for the 1956 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, she escaped from Cuba in the 1960s when it became a communist dictatorship. In 1956, she set a new Pan American record of 11.20 seconds in the 80-meter hurdles.
In February 1950, Rafael Emilio Fortun Chacon set a new Cuban and world record in the 100-meter sprint at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala City.He was born on Agust 5, 1919, in Camaguey, Cuba.
Manuel Sanguily became the first Cuban swimmer to classify in the finals at the Olympic Games, where he ended seventeenth in the world in 200-meter breaststroke style competition in Australia in 1956.
The Cuban volleyball team is a disaster. Why? Because more than 14 volleyball players bought political asylum in Europe and Puerto Rico (2001-2007). They included: Raydel Poey, Yasser Portuondo, Javier Gonzalez, Javier Brito, Maikel Salas, Yosleider Cala, Osvaldo Hernandez, Dennis Angel, Alexis Battle, Laseer Romero, Ramon Gato, Jorge Luis Hernandez, Ihosvany Hernandez and Leonel Marshall.