Spectacular is the only adjective to describe Cuba’s performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, after a number of emotions that led to glory for the team in a contest marked by COVID-19.
Under crossfire from the pandemic and with no public in the stands, the island delegation overcame obstacles, established respect and proved those who warned of failure wrong, winning seven gold medals, 15 medals in total and 14th place in the country ranking.
Not even the difficult sanitary context stopped the Caribbean athletes, who drove a nation to crowd around the TV and applaud endlessly, while their collective results brought glory in the capital of Japan. From July 23 to August 8, the delegation performed brilliantly once again, and set records by becoming the fourth team since the 1960 Rome Games to achieve so many gold medals -add three silver and five bronze - with a qualifying group of under 70 members. Previously, such a feat was only achieved by Turkey in 1960 (49 athletes-seven gold), Romania in Seoul 1988 (68-seven) and Iran in London 2012 (53-seven).
It also gave its best performance in the last 13 years, shattering records from Beijing 2008 (three-10-17), London 2012 (five-three-seven) and Rio 2016 (five-twofour). In addition, it met its pre-competition goal, as the aim was to finish among the top 20 players of the multidisciplinary contest, which it did.
Once again, boxing became a beacon and a guide, thanks to its four leading men: Andy Cruz, at 63 kilograms, Roniel Iglesias (69), Arlen López (81) and Julio César la Cruz (91), as well as the bronze of Lázaro &Aálvarez (57).
Wrestling also brought victory with the enormous (and legendary) Greco-Roman wrestler Mijaín López (130) and Luis Orta (60), who together with the canoeist duo of Serguey Torres and Fernando Dayán Jorge (C2 1,000 meters), made up the champions of Cuba, which now joined Brazil (sevensix- eight) as the leaders of Latin America.
It would of course be a huge error not to mention the second places of judoist Idalys Ortiz (+78), shooter Leuris Pupo (rapid fire pistol) and long jumper Juan Miguel Echevarría, accompanied on the podium by bronze winner Maykel Massó, bronze in discus throw Yaimé Pérez, taekwondo fighter Rafael Alba (+80) and wrestler Reineris Salas (97, freestyle).
Thus, the Caribbean territory (84-69-82) was confirmed as the second most successful of the Americas in history after the United States, and the leader among all Spanish-speaking nations. Evidence that when you put heart and soul into what you do, no barriers are insurmountable.