FROM SPORTS HISTORY: Who is the Cuban with More Sports Medals?

FROM SPORTS HISTORY: Who is the Cuban with More Sports Medals?
Fecha de publicación: 
10 December 2021
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He throws the javelin with María Caridad Colón in Moscow 80 and a beautiful story is born; he runs alongside Juantorena with that elegant and effective step; he jumps like no other thanks to Sotomayor; in the spikes of Mireya Luis, Yumilka Ruiz, and Zoila Barros; Ruperto Herrera, Dalia Henry, Sonia de la Paz ... they lead him dribbling looking to score; bats, catches, shines: Tabares and Vargas played again. It’s the triumphant speed of Silvio and Miguelina; Stevenson, Correa and Orlandito win: he allowed them to fight again; Driulis and Lupetey's swift ippons belong to him too; at Atlanta 96 pool: Falcon wins a very shiny silver medal...

All this and much more in the book El mago que cayó del cielo (Abril Editoral House), by the writer and journalist Hedelberto López Blanch, dedicated to the Cuban who has won more sports medals: Doctor Rodrigo Álvarez Cambras. He saved each of these aces and dozens of others from misfortune: God, those injuries that can shatter so many dreams..!

Hand in hand with love, respect, and insight, this research navigates an attractive text, away from extreme density or overnight romanticism. It’s credible. It has a people’s taste. Digging deeper is not enough; you have to captivate, guide, convince, know how to say. Hedelberto doesn’t commit the sin of pounding the content with a poor form. The title of the work is offered by María Caridad, the first Latin American woman to be crowned in the competition rescued by Pierre de Coubertin. The current member of the International Olympic Committee knows very well from which heaven came that salvation when her participation in the Olympics was at stake.

As stated on the back cover: “López Blanch has had the elegance of interviewing and registering it for publication, not only the feelings of gratitude and respect of some athletes, but also their criteria on the professionalism of Cuban medicine, mainly the team of trauma orthopedics from Frank País hospital in Havana. He has done it as a special tribute to Doctor Rodrigo Álvarez Cambras…".

Professor of professors, Doctor of Sciences,  Professor and Academic of Merit, he fought against the Batista regime and suffered the mistreatment of the henchmen. Internationalist in Congo Brazzaville. Fidel had given him the mission of creating a hospital of reference, of increasing his knowledge in order to lead it. He did it: it’s today the Frank País International Scientific Orthopedic Complex, which he directed for more than 40 years. He created the Ortoforza Sports Rehabilitation Center there.

Álvarez Cambras complied by far his role: he raised his knowledge, created effective devices, demonstrated in life his theories and innovations, which have been universally recognized. He put together his team and has been essential in the birth and maintenance of the Cuban School of Orthopedics and Traumatology.

Let two other grateful speak: Ana Fidelia flies on the track! After her accident, Cuban medicine gave her wings back. The Commander-in-Chief expressed about the reappearance of the champion: "To save Ana Fidelia Quirot, two things came together: a miracle of science and technology and a miracle of human will…".

She counted on scientific development, especially in the medical field, and since our Revolution is truly socialist, that material and spiritual care received, of course, was free. Several athletic officials around the world have stated that in another country Ana Fidelia could not have been reborn from her ashes.

She recalls that in 1997 she returned to enjoy these benefits when an injury appeared: “... I could hardly run. My doctors, Mario Granda and Pedro Pérez Dueñas, currently deceased, from the multidisciplinary group of Álvarez Cambras at Frank País hospital, made some infiltrations and I could work with that. "In August of that same year, she was crowned world champion in the 800 meters, with 1: 57.14., In the contest hosted by Athens. A year earlier, with 1: 56.11, she won the gold medal in the World Championship staged in Gothenburg, Sweden.

She told the book’s author...: "The care offered by Frank País hospital and its eternal director Álvarez Cambras is exceptional, special, not only for great athletes but for the general public because patients from all over the country arrive there and from other nations too. For us, he is the ultimate orthopedic doctor, we love and admire him and there would be no time to talk about all his qualities ".

Mijaín López doesn’t forget how he was rescued several times: “I think that all the High Performance athletes who have gone through Frank País have a comforting impression, because there’s a team that contributes to the development of sports and to which we owe the unique triumphs achieved despite injuries sustained. His care and that of his entire team has always been first class and it’s something very special, because it represents the same school as Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. Thank you very much to all of them for the huge efforts they make for the good of our revolutionary sport”.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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