first_imgNewsRegional Reflections of Fidel: Achievement in Guadalajara by: – November 1, 2011 Share Sharing is caring! Fidel Castro. Image via: globalresearch.caI am taking a short break from my political analyses to devote this space to the accomplishments of Cuban athletes in the 16th Pan American Games.The Olympic Games and the international athletic competitions which surround them and arouse the interest of millions of people, have a noble history which, despite having been abused, should not be forgotten.The contribution made by the creator of the Olympic Games is especially clear, more so than that of Nobel, who at one point in his life, while attempting to create a more efficient means of production, produced an explosive which provided earnings he allotted to supporting his commitment to peace, by honoring a scientist or a brilliant writer, or even the leader of an empire which orders the murder of an adversary in the presence of his family, the bombing of a tribe in central Asia or a small, independent country in North Africa and the elimination of its leadership bodies.Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the creator of the modern Olympic Games; an aristocrat born in France, a capitalist country where a farmer, a worker or an artisan, had absolutely no opportunity to take on such an endeavor within that society.Ignoring the wishes of his family, who hoped to make an army officer of him, he left the Military Academy to devote himself to pedagogy. In some ways his life brings to mind that of Darwin, who discovered the laws of natural evolution.Coubertin became a disciple of an Anglican minister, founded the first magazine devoted to sports and convinced the French government to include it in the 1889 World’s Fair.He began to dream of bringing together athletes from all countries, in a competition based on the principles of unity and brotherhood, with no profit motive, driven only by the desire to attain glory.His ideas were not initially understood but he persisted and traveled around the world, speaking about peace and unity among peoples and human beings.Finally, in June of 1894, the International Physical Education Congress held in Paris created the Olympic Games.The idea faced resistance and incomprehension in Britain, the principal colonial power; a boycott by Germany, a powerful imperial rival and even the opposition of Athens, the city chosen as the site for the first Olympics.Pierre de Coubertin managed to win commitments from European emperors, kings and governments with his untiring efforts and diplomatic talents.Most important, in my opinion, were the depth and nobility of his ideas which won the support of the world’s peoples.On March 24, 1896, the King of Greece, for the first time, opened the 1st International OIympic Games in Athens, 115 years ago.Two destructive, devastating wars have transpired since then, both originating in Europe, and costing the world the lives of millions of people killed in combat, in addition to those civilians who died in bombings or as a result of the hunger and disease which followed. Peace is not guaranteed. What is known is that, in another world war, modern weaponry could destroy humanity several times over.It is in the light of these realities that I so much admire the performance of our athletes.The most important aspect of the Olympic movement is the conception of sports as a means of promoting education, health and friendship among peoples, an real antidote to vices such as drugs, smoking, alcohol abuse and the violent behavior which so affects human society.Sports for profit, or the buying and selling of athletes, never entered the mind of the founder of the Olympics. This was also a noble objective of the Cuban Revolution which recognized the need to promote sports, like health, education, science, culture and art, always an unwavering principle of the Revolution.Moreover, our country has promoted participation in sports and trained coaches for Third World countries struggling to develop. An International Sports and Physical Education School has functioned in our country for many years and numerous coaches who were trained there, are now carrying out their duties successfully in countries which compete against our own athletes in important sports.Thousands of Cuban experts have served as coaches and sports trainers in many countries of the so-called Third World.It is within this framework, implemented over decades, that our people feel justifiably proud of the medals our athletes win in international competition.The transnational sports business has left far behind the dreams held by the founder of the Olympics.Taking advantage of the prestige won in sporting competitions, excellent athletes, mostly born in poor African and Latin American countries, are bought and sold on the international market by these companies and only on a limited number of occasions are they permitted to play on teams representing their own countries, where they were developed as prestigious athletes given their personal effort and their own qualities.Our austere and self-sacrificing people have had to face the theft committed by these merchants of for-profit sports who offer fabulous sums to our athletes and occasionally deny the people these athletes’ presence through crude acts of piracy.As a sports enthusiast, I have conversed many times with the most outstanding and therefore, on this occasion, it gives me great pleasure to see our delegation’s successes on television and its victorious return to the homeland from Guadalajara, where the United States, despite having approximately 27 times the number of inhabitants, won only 1.58 times the number of gold medals as Cuba, which obtained 58.Brazil, with a population of more than 200 million, won 48.Mexico, with more than 100 million, came away with 42.Canada, a rich, developed country of 34 million, obtained only 30.The total number of gold, silver and bronze medals won by Cuba was proportional to the number of titles mentioned.More than a few of our young athletes had truly surprising successes.Despite these victories, which make our people proud, we have the obligation to continue improving ourselves.Fidel Castro RuzOctober 30, 2011, 10:11 p.m. Sharecenter_img Tweet Share 25 Views   no discussionslast_img