First reflection on the Pan American Games

Reflections by Cuban President Fidel Castro

AREN’T YOU watching the Pan-American Games? I think I hear many Cubans asking. Of course I am! I answer; I can hardly get my eyes off the TV set. Sometimes I forget about the time when I should take some meal or pill. And then I complain because no one dared to pull me away from a baseball inning when the game was quite even, Mayeta was batting, two men were on base, and there was one out.

I, as much as you, have lived through the vicissitudes of such matches. It could be a women’s volleyball match between Cuba and the United States, in which our team played a perfect game. Our women’s and men’s handball teams were amazing! What a speed! What strength!

I do not miss any of the sport events broadcast on TV: weight-lifting, tae-kwon-do, rowing, cycling, beach volleyball. I have watched the women’s rhythmic gymnastics singles. I realize that that beautiful sport has been promoted from the children’ category to the Olympic category. The most outstanding winners in this sport are girls; no one older or heavier can beat them.

Tomorrow will be a fateful day in many sports: the dispute among important collective sport teams will begin. Please consider that I am writing this on Tuesday afternoon. We have just won the third gold medal of the day with an injured athlete. That was a heroic feat. Right now the last qualification game in women’s handball is still in progress. Brazil women’s team is a hard nut to crack. I watch the game and I write some lines.

Finally, at 4:25 p.m., the Brazilian team won 32 to 28. Both teams will go to the finals: they will be competing to win either the gold, silver, or bronze medals.

At 4:50 p.m. I saw the broadcast of the rowing match where our team won two gold medals. I watched some excerpts of the men’s gymnastics singles. Athletes in this sport are in general very young, but they are no kids.

At this time of the afternoon, 5:45 p.m., I have nothing more to add.

Fidel Castro Ruz

July 17, 2007

5:45 p.m.

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