With their sights set on victory, the Cuban delegation to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto participated in the official flag-presentation ceremony at the José Martí Memorial in Havana, attended by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and a member of the PCC Political Bureau.
Díaz-Canel presented the national flag to the double Olympic and five-times World Greco-Roman Wrestling champion Mijaín López, the island’s official standard-bearer to the games.
The Cuban gladiator was escorted by Leuris Pupo, winner of the 25 meters rapid fire pistol event at the London 2012 Olympics, and shortstop Yorbis Borroto, member of the island’s baseball team which will battle for the crown in the regional event, taking place July 10-26.
Participating for the fourth time in the Pan American Games, López commented to AIN on that he felt proud to be the standard-bearer for the Cuban delegation to the tournament in Toronto, where he hopes to secure his fourth victory and contribute to fulfilling the squad’s objective of retaining second place on the country medal chart.
Outstanding judoka Idalis Ortiz, London 2012 gold medalist and two times World Champion, read out the pledge on behalf of all athletes, to compete with honor and represent the Cuban people with dignity in the approaching competition.
Antonio Becali, President of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) highlighted the need for athletes to approach the Toronto Games with complete focus, motivated by previous sporting achievements.
Becali emphasized the quality of the athletes’ preparation, supported by a large team of technicians and coaches, a factor which will be vital to the delegation’s goal of retaining second place in the country medal chart faced with challenges from Brazil and hosts Canada.
Also presented with the Cuban flag during the ceremony was the island’s delegation to the 2015 Special OlympicsWorldSummer Games, which will take place in the U.S. city of Los Angeles from July 21 through August 3.