The same young and undefeated athlete (+ Video) ›To think in QR mode› Granma
Photo: Granma Archive

He listened to the athletes after each triumph, or after their presentation, in the last Olympic Games in Tokyo, talk about their people. The Fatherland or Death thundered! We will win! by Julio César La Cruz in the boxing ring, his “I love you, Cuba”; to Mijaín López, with his “I owe myself to my flag”; to Luis Orta to tell the First Secretary of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez: “What is done with the heart always goes well, they are the teaching of our Commander in Chief, Raúl and you.”

The golden canoeists Fernando Dayán Jorge and Serguey Torres said that “in each paddle went the strength of our people and in their thoughts joy, from Cabo de San Antonio to Punta de Maisí.” Idalys Ortiz expressed that the difficulties were many, but the commitment was greater. Juan Miguel Echevarría did not need words, his tears and his willingness to jump, when he knew it was impossible, said it all. His silver medals shone like gold.

So I was thinking, what would Fidel have told them, in 2021, precisely 55 years after another feat, in the face of one of the many failed tricks of a government that never tires of losing, or has become accustomed to being out of the awards podium. Perhaps the undefeated Chief of the Revolution would speak to them as he spoke, in 1966, to the athletes who participated in the Central American and Caribbean Games that year, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in which the US administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson did that their planes flew over the Cerro Pelado ship and, without success, they tried to prevent the athletes from landing on the island of Borinquen.

But, as in the Granma of Fidel and his men, they left, arrived and triumphed. He then told them: “Possibly no delegation our country has to thank as much as this one, for the battle it fought, for the triumphs it obtained in the most difficult moments, for the dignity it displayed at all times.” That youth embassy was baptized as the Delegation of Dignity.

They do not know the men and women of this land who say that sport is politicized. The culture of this small and heroic country, which hosts art, knowledge, nobility, feelings of sovereignty and independence, respect for the human being and for humanity, also shelters sports, and like all of them it has an expression of Homeland.

Fidel responded to that launch with a home run: “Sport is not an instrument of politics in our country, but sport is a consequence of the Revolution in our country.”

Today, boys between 14 and 23 years old, from Friday will have their flag on their chests, at the I Youth Pan American Games, in Cali, Colombia. For the youth, in addition to the profuse legacy, Fidel always had words of encouragement, of confidence, because they were also his companions, and he himself, young people in the battle for the construction of the future that they enjoy.

“Believing in young people is seeing in them, in addition to enthusiasm, capacity; besides energy, responsibility; in addition to youth, purity, heroism, character, will, love for the homeland, faith in the homeland! Love for the Revolution, faith in the Revolution, self-confidence, deep conviction that youth can, that youth is capable, deep conviction that great tasks can be placed on the shoulders of youth! ” with jovial conviction.

Perhaps, to those who are preparing to represent us, I would have said the same thing as on October 22, 1973, to a group of athletes: «If I were born at this time, do you know what I would like to be? Athlete.

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