Cuban athlete Ana Fidelia Quirot Moret, whose success in international sprint events has earned her the title the “Caribbean Storm,” enjoys taking a moment to greet her fellow compatriots, who stop in the street to take a photo, talk with her or simply show their love and gratitude for her international achievements.
Born on March 23, 1963, in the municipality of Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, the outstanding former athlete won gold at the Athletics Grand Prix from 1988 through 1991, and received the trophy for best sportsperson in her event from the King and Queen of Spain during the 1988 Ibero-American Championships.
She won the 800 meters 39 times in a row between 1987 and 1990, and the 400 meters on 15 occasions in 1990. Quirot Moret was also named most outstanding Cuban athlete for the years 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. Meanwhile, on September 13, 1995, she was presented with the Order of Sporting Merit by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, in recognition of her many achievements.
Granma International interviewed Ana Fidelia Quirot in order to learn more about her current work, regarding which she noted that “I’m currently collaborating with the Cuban Athletics Federation and the National Commission of Attention to Athletes. I assist on the program which aims to revive sprint races around the country.
“Today, our country has a deficit of sprinters and we must remember that there were other times during which figures such as Silvio Leonard, Aurelia Pentón, Silvia Chivás, Alberto Juantorena shone. We want to reach the top positions in short distance sprint events at the Central American and Pan American games.”
Prospects looking toward the next Olympic Games…
We currently have the possibility of meeting international benchmarks in the women’s pole vault and discus throw. We are currently working to consolidate the men’s short distance relay.
Athletes to look out for…
Yarisley Silva in the pole vault and Denia Caballero in the discus throw. They have already established themselves at the global level. Reynier Mena (200m sprint), Zurian Hechavarría (400m hurdles), Yaniuvis López (shot put), Paula Beatriz Álvarez (long jump), and Leandro Zamora in the 400m hurdles, all have talent and the prospect for further development .
Will we see Cuba succeed in international competitions once more?
The Cuba Cup, our national championship competition, was held last March. We were pleased with the performances by young triple jump athletes who achieved results close to other global standards. If they continue with their training they could progress enough to participate in forthcoming international competitions. I’m talking about Andy Díaz, who was the best triple jumper in the men’s division with various leaps over 17 meters. The young athlete even set a new personal best of 17.40m, beating Cristian Nápoles (17.27) and Lázaro Martínez (17.05) to take the gold.
What are the challenges facing Cuban athletics today?
The challenge is to achieve better results and place Cuba on international podiums, primarily in the Central and Pan American games.
How do you remain in shape after having retired from athletics?
I feel very healthy and in good physical shape. I follow the advice of trainers to reduce the physical impact of so many years of high performance sports. I closely follow the recommendations of the sports medicine specialists, and work physical exercise into my daily routine. I’m all about having a better quality of life.
What about your diet?
I eat healthy food all the time and avoid those high in calories and sugar. I keep track of my health indicators such as cholesterol and other chronic asymptomatic diseases. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables and few carbohydrates, although I do still eat them.
Do you have a message for our readers?
I would urge them to undertake physical activity in order to obtain a healthy body.
What are your dreams?
My dream is to see my children graduate from university.