The event was an opportunity to enjoy part of the anecdotes of the Cuban athlete whose record still stands, set at 2.45 meters in Salamanca, Spain, in 1993, for more than 30 years.
The meeting, conducted by Cuban television communicator Héctor Villar, opened with a video of the most remarkable moments of the Caribbean island’s sport throughout history, with vibrant images of different performances in Olympic Games and world events.
After a review of figures such as boxer Teófilo Stevenson, runner Alberto Juantorena, wrestler Mijaín López or judoka Idalys Ortíz, those attending the event were able to contemplate the moment when Sotomayor set the record in high jump in Salamanca, which seems to resist more than ever.
“One day I’ll wake up with the news that someone beat him. It is not something that will sadden me, I have enjoyed it very much and by the logical law of life at some point someone will surpass it, although I do not dare to make predictions,” the 1992 Barcelona Olympic champion and Prince of Asturias Award winner confessed to Prensa Latina.
Sotomayor spoke of the numerous international competitions that take place in Cuba every year and invited FITUR participants to sign up for events like the MarHabana and Varadero half-marathon races, “unique opportunities to run while contemplating beautiful landscapes and the sea breeze”.
Laureate the day before by the newspaper Mundo Deportivo of Barcelona, he also referred to skating tournaments, Ibero-American triathlon, Norceca beach volleyball in Varadero, the national sports fairs, baseball and the Barrientos athletics, just to mention a few.
Challenged by Villar to dare for the universal record for veterans (he holds the record for seniors, juniors and cadets), Sotomayor jokingly answered that at his age (56) he is afraid that his legs “will end up breaking like a pencil”.
When answering another question from Prensa Latina, he was cautious about whether his record could fall at the Olympic Games in Paris. Certainly the records have dropped, but there are quality jumpers, we’ll see.
The Cubadeportes promotional activity was attended by the Cuban Tourism Counselor for Spain and Portugal, Niurka Pérez Denis, and part of the Cuban delegation that is taking part in FITUR, along with 151 other countries.