EDITORIAL: The Olympic medals from a “failed” state

EDITORIAL: The Olympic medals from a “failed” state
Fecha de publicación: 
4 August 2021
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Cuba has won six gold medals so far in Tokyo 2020. The performance, so far, outperforms what other nations have ever done. And other gold medals are likely to add on. The pride the Cuban people feel for their athletes — winners or not— has nothing to do with the propaganda operation that many enemies of the Revolution attach to the development of sports in the island. 

Cuba does not train high performance athletes for ego, we do it as a logical expression of a comprehensive program, which grants citizens with full access to all sports disciplines. No money is needed to study in Cuba’s sports schools, you just need the talent and the skill. That is why most champions emerge from humble families. And that is why — to some’s awe — most of them show their gratitude to the Revolution and the people when winning. This is a glaring truth: without the Revolution, Cuba would have never been reference of sports in Latin America. And now, amid one of the most challenging times our nation has ever faced, the training of athletes is being paid a lot of attention. It is, to a large extent, a sacrifice, because sport is expensive; but it is a responsibility of the State and government.

The results in international competitions are the recognition to the country where athletes are trained and developed, despite the U.S. government and some acolytes believe Cuba is a failed state. Sports in Cuba, as it happens with science and culture, show the efficiency of meaningful policies of the Revolution. But medals are not the final goal of these policies: the goal is, in fact, to understand sports as an inalienable right of all citizens. Whenever a Cuban athlete wins, Cuba wins.

Some people accuse Cuba of politicizing sports, ignoring the huge popular impact of several sports disciplines and the solidarity, respectful vocation with which athletes and most Cuban take over it. They say that Cuban athletes who have defected and abandoned their teams to live and compete with other nations have done it escaping from the tyranny looking for their freedom. They conveniently overlook the talent drain experienced by some underdeveloped countries, the tantalizing proposals, the invitations to defect…They must be aware, that even slandering their home country, most of them are the result of an education system and promotion of sports, active despite of shortage and obstacles. And they still should take into account the commitment of most of our athletes.

Cuba has enjoyed the successes of their athletes in Tokyo. It has been a relief amid such difficult time, a breath of hope. The four-time Olympic champion Mijaín López said it after his most recent success: these victories are real prove that, despite our own problems, Cuba is still renowned worldwide. The greatness of dignity.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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