“Our athletes have assumed the competitions with great responsibility, as true patriots and that makes us feel good,” Vento told Prensa Latina after participating in a posthumous tribute to the honorary head of the Cuban Olympic Committee (COC), José Ramón Fernández.
The Caribbean country has accumulated 60 medals in the continental competition, including 24 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze, and it is in fifth position among 41 participants.
Life wanted that today, November 4, we are commemorating the centenary of Fernández’s birth, at the moment in which we are closing the Pan American Games, he expressed.
He considered this tribute important to remember someone who knew how to fully interpret and turn into reality the thoughts of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro in the field of sports.
Fernández was an exceptional man, I personally have many things to thank him for, I have been trained in his school, always like the old wise man he knew how to guide us along the way and now we have to honor his legacy and fulfill on a daily basis what he told us. He taught, he said.
Gallego Fernández, as his people affectionately knew him, practiced horse riding, shooting, basketball, baseball and softball. He qualified in modern pentathlon for the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, a dream frustrated by the coup d’état of the tyrant Fulgencio Batista on March 10 of that year.
He chaired the organizing committees of the XIV Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana 1982 and the XI Pan American Games in Havana 1991 and led the organizing committee of the World Cup of Athletics held in that capital in 1992.
In 1997 he was elected president of the COC, a position he held until October 2018, when he was declared honorary president for life.
During the tribute, held in the commune of San Miguel, athletes and members of the delegation to the Pan American Games participated, the presidents of the Olympic Committee of Cuba, Roberto León Ríchard, and of Nicaragua, Emmett Lang, and the Cuban ambassador in Chile, Mercedes Vincent.
Sports glories such as María Caridad Colón, Javier Sotomayor and Ruperto Herrera, representatives of the Cuban Solidarity Movement in Chile and young Chilean graduates on the island were also present. ef/rgh/car