Sports in Cuba during the Special Period (III)

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The 1990s was one of the most difficult periods that the island of Cuba has gone through. The criminal US economic blockade was joined by the fall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the collapse of the Socialist camp. Therefore, a new stage began, which was officially called the Special Period, characterized by a profound shortage of resources, raw materials, and products of all kinds.

Many were the sectors affected by this crisis and sports did not escape from it. Sports equipment (gloves, bats, balls, hoops, rackets, mattresses, uniforms, nets, etc.) became scarce. Sports agreements that Cuba had with some countries disappeared, the athletes, who in their period of preparation, carried out tours and competitions in Europe, mainly in the socialist nations, were affected, bringing with them a deficit as far as sports tops; it was necessary to begin practically from zero and to draw up new strategies to make up for these adversities.

In spite of these problems, INDER took on the task of continuing to develop sports, not only from a competitive point of view, but as an expression of the way of life of an entire people, of the struggle for the ideas they defend and therefore, in this decade, this activity became even more massified, training plans continued to be improved, physical activity continued to be taken to the most remote places in the country, the increase in the scientific level of coaches and sports trainers, and as the culmination of this strategy, Cuba was reaffirmed as the first Latin American sports power and the second worldwide, within the developing countries.

It is meritorious to emphasize how in this decade three top figures of the history of athletics in Cuba and in the world appeared, they are Ana Fidelia Quirós, Iván Lázaro Pedroso Soler and Javier Sotomayor.

Written by Jorge Lora

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