For the Coaches: Applauses and Memories

For the Coaches: Applauses and Memories
Fecha de publicación: 
21 August 2023
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It's a piece of news: the World Athletics Championships, starting on August 19 in the capital of Hungary, will give coaches medals equal to those of the winning athletes in each test. It was recently announced by organizers of the Budapest 2023 event.

An initiative that is here to stay? Hopefully. Because it seems fair that those who follow from scratch the long path of dedication and sacrifices towards the elite of any sport, also receive the final treat.

While I was reading the news, several Cubans came to mind who would wear more than one medal on their chest, if the idea had arisen much earlier and was applied to all kinds of tournaments. Among them, Leandro Civil and Guillermo de la Torre, trainers of Ana Fidelia Quirot and Javier Sotomayor, respectively.

They well deserved the award, since they accepted the challenge, almost at the same time, to continue the work begun by the masters Blas Beato and José Godoy, which implied getting the most out of the track and jumping to heaven (it goes without saying that they succeeded, it’s so, that the sky of El Soto is still untouchable).

But what about Santiago Antúnez, selected by the International Amateur Athletic Federation as the best coach in the world in 2010, and a couple of pupils would have been enough for him to hang several medals at all levels: the 110 hurdles champions Anier García, and Dayron Robles.

In the history of the Cuban track and field we could find other examples. Now, if we move from atletics, the list grows. Can you imagine Alcides Sagarra wearing as many medals around his neck as the fighters he guided to Olympic and world medals? And Ronaldo Veitía with each one of his girls who walked in the tatami in the most important sporting events?

Pass beyond history, there’s the real chance that some Cuban coaches will wear medals on their chests this year and, always, the happy certainty that Iván Pedroso will be champion again and receive his gold medal, now through the successful task developed with the Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas.


Although we are no longer living the best days of Cuban athletics, it’s worth committing ourselves to memory and celebrating the opportunity for Budapest 2023 to be the precedent and motivation for the best coaches. They also leave their skin in each victory.

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