Diaz-Canel tweeted: “Mijain Lopez, from Cuba, the best in Latin America. Congratulations, champion.”
Lopez, champion of the super-heavy weight division of Graeco-Roman wrestling at the Tokyo 2020, Rio de Janeiro 2016, London 2012, and Beijing 2008 Olympics, received 41 votes, surpassing Argentinean soccer player Lionel Messi, voted 19 times.
This is the first time Lopez leads the poll, becoming the second wrestler to do so after Raul Cascaret, also from Cuba, in 1985.
The athlete was granted the Outstanding Performance award at Tokyo 2020 by the National Olympic Committees Association.
In addition, Lopez, who is considered the best wrestler in the Graeco-Roman style, was nominated Athlete of the Year in Cuba along with boxer Roniel Iglesias, who also won gold in the Olympics.
Lopez defeated 5-0 the Georgian Iakobi Kajaia at the 130 kg finals in Tokyo 2020, thus becoming the only four-times male Olympic champion.