July 14 2016
Cuba’s historic response was recalled yesterday, July 13, with a gala event at the Manuel Fajardo University of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences.
Dr. Antonio Becali presents commemorative seal to José R. Fernández (center) who will deliver it to Fidel. Photo:Ricardo López Hevia
The Cerro Pelayo
Half a century has passed. The conquests of Cuban sports have been many. But one stands out, forever etched in popular memory: the Cerro Pelayo, a refurbished merchant marine ship that carried a delegation of 351 Cuban athletes to Puerto Rico to participate in the 10th Central American and Caribbean Games of 1966, despite obstacles mounted by the U.S. government to prevent their participation.
The feat was recalled yesterday, July 13, with a gala event at the Manuel Fajardo University of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences, dedicated to Fidel’s 90th birthday, with the presence of members of the historic delegation, and athletes preparing to compete in the Río de Janeiro Olympics, plus participants in the Juan Rius Rivera Solidarity with Cuba Contingent from Puerto Rico.
Special anniversary seal to Fidel
The event’s high point was the awarding of special anniversary seal to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, accepted by the President of Cuba’s Olympic Committee, José Ramón Fernández, from Dr. Antonio Becali Garrido, head of the Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER). Also receiving commemorative seals were representatives of the historic delegation Enrique Figuerola, Miguelina Cobián, Caridad Agüero, Pedro Chávez, José Antonio Díaz, Miguel Ibarzábal, Guillermo Martínez, Benita Jiménez, José Luis Cabrera and Alcides Sagarra, as well as family members of deceased athletes who traveled aboard the Cerro Pelayo.
A documentary on the history of the Cerro Pelayo by José González Vera was screened, and representing today’s sports movement, pentathlon athlete Leydis Laura Moya spoke for the delegation preparing to compete in Río de Janeiro.
Also participating were Kenia Serrano and Hero of the Republic Fernando González, president and vice president, respectively, of the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP); Benigno Iglesias, vice president of the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC); and Daniel Báez Pérez, a Party Central Committee