Mijaín, Idalys, and Omara: Three Huge Hearts and Greater Shine of Cuba in 2021

Mijaín, Idalys, and Omara: Three Huge Hearts and Greater Shine of Cuba in 2021
Fecha de publicación: 
20 December 2021
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There are eternal faces, and in their muscles, body, strides, scoop throws and kumis that carry the heartbeat of millions of Cubans. It’s not the first time that they deserve the distinction of Best Cuban athletes, but in Mijaín López, Idalys Ortiz and Omara Durand, all the glory of the world fits in a grain of corn, and overflows their three immense hearts.

Narrating their exploits, although they are plenty and constant, they keep amaze us. We are talking about a four-time Olympic champion in the super-complete division of Greco-Roman wrestling, the only athlete capable of achieving it; a judoka who for 15 years has managed to stay in the elite of the +78 kg, with four Olympic medals, and the undisputed owner of the tracks among disabled athletes, with eight medals in that exalted Paralympic competition seasoned with absolute world records in 100, 200, and 400 meters.

Then just the recognition of having been chosen by the circle of specialized chroniclers as the best male single athlete and best event of the year, in Mijain’s case; the best single female athlete for the woman from Artemisa and her unusual mastery on tatami mats; and best disabled athlete for the Caribbean gazelle.

Mijaín: I remember that that morning of August 2nd, I described Mijaín as an “animal of the galaxy”, an impregnable ebony fortress that for the third Olympic Game in a row didn’t lose a single match. That he debuted in Beijing with a 24-3 record; and in the three following editions he has practically "toyed" with his opponents, to the point of endorsing them 54 points, 24 of them in Tokyo.

How come not granting him the condition of “best”, when at 39 years old he attained the unprecedented epic in mattresses, and when the possibility of showing his XXXL class in Paris 2024 is still being reconsidered today. Reaching the competition in good shape, because like he said, "the farewell must be big time."

Jogging of 1.96 meters tall on the mat, flag waving on his shoulders, paternal embrace with Ryza Kayaalp, smile of full satisfaction, Raúl Trujillo and Cuba all carried by his powerful arms ... and a privileged seat in the Olympus, next to Pedro Val, Gustavo Rollé, and the gods of Olympic Games.

Simply: Thank you Mijaín!!!!

Idalys: That chunky girl who came to Cerro Pelado facility when she was 15 years old and teacher Ronaldo Veitía told her sister to pack all her things that she was staying. And what a way to stay! Idalys can be said to have conquered it all on the tatami mats fully.

An artist of tactics, with a lot of explosiveness and speed for her division, and with technical mastery gained through many years of competing in the elite of +78 kg, Idalys reached her second runner-up Olympic medal, which she added to that of Rio de Janeiro 2016 and her personal score was completed at that level with the bronze medal in Beijing 2008 and the gold medal in London 2012.

That adds up to eight medals (2-2-4) in World Cups and an impressive 249-80 record in the won-lost balance of matches on the mat, for a privileged 75.7% effectiveness in the international arena since 2006.

Another early rising of insomnia, in which I even wrote for her… Si alma mía!!! La Gloria eres tú. Unforgettable mark on the Nippon Budokan with three convincing wins and the slip in the final match against Akira Sone by hansoku-make; and today, when an unsettling 2021, of great sacrifices and attacks, practically says goodbye, she will do it smiling, transparent, and with the pride of knowing herself our best athlete once again.

Omara: When by the hand of Yuniol Kindelán, whatever the distance, Omara Durand Elías reaches the starting block, rivals tremble in resignation, the track opens a swift runner, and always crosses the finish line "showing her back and glamor of strides” to her opponents.

It didn’t matter the persistent drizzle that attempted to wash away in vain her exploits. Her spikes always burn like a Formula-1 engine and this time was no exception. Her golden records of (52.58 seconds) in the 400 meters, 11.49 in the 100 meters, and absolute world record of 23.02 in the 200 meters are more than enough arguments to put her there, where almost no other human in her condition has been able to reach.

Imagine that if she had represented a country in the Tokyo Paralympics, with her three gold medals, the woman from Santiago de Cuba alone would have attained position 39 on the medal table.

So we dedicate a few words of Olympic and Paralympic tribute to our three high-ranking athletes, leaders of a list that they also integrated into each category:

Female athlete collective sport: Lidianny Echevarría Benítez

Male athlete collective sport: Miguel A. López Castro

Rookie of the Year: Yarisleidi Cirilo Duboy

Non-individual event: Fernando Dayán Jorge Enríquez-Serguey Torres Madrigal

Top Team: Women's Beach Volleyball Team

Leila C. Martínez Ortega-Lidianny Echevarría Benítez

Individual sport: Boxing

10 Most Outstanding Athletes

Julio Cesar La Cruz Peraza

Andy Cruz Gomez

Fernando Dayán Jorge Enriquez

Luis Orta Sánchez

Leuris Pupo Requejo

Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo

Serguey Torres Madrigal

Juan Miguel Echevarría Laflé

Yaimé Pérez Téllez

Rafael Y. Alba Castillo

Best athlete under contract with his federation: Arlenis Sierra Cañadilla

Best national referee: Wilfredo García Castro (Taekwondo)

Best international referee: Luis Enrique Charadán Pierre

Special activities: Erick Hernández Sánchez


Most Outstanding: Omara Durand Elías

Best Male: Robiel Yanquiel Sol Cervantes

Top 10

Leinier Savón Pineda

Leonardo Diaz Aldana

Guillermo Varona González

Ulicer Aguilera Cruz

Yordanis Fernández Sastre

Yunier Fernández Izquierdo

Geraldo Rodriguez Reyes

Lorenzo Pérez Escalona

Leidy Rodriguez

Oníger Jesús Drake Vega

Special mention: Chess Team

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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