During a ceremony held yesterday evening, August 2, Cuba's single-starred flag was raised in Río de Janeiro's Olympic Village, with the national anthem playing and athletes who will compete in the 31st Summer Games in attendance.
Men and women committed to upholding the country's tradition enjoyed the welcome to the Games, which will be officially inaugurated Friday the 5th, in the city's Maracaná Stadium.
Dr. Antonio Becali, president of Cuba's Institute for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) signed the delegation's tile in a mural erected within the Village, writing, "Greetings Río, from the Cuban people."
Also attending was Brazilian mayor of the Village, Janeth Arcain, two-time basketball medalist, who in her comments emphasized the values Olympic sports represent and called on all to respect them.
The ceremony included a Brazilian dance performance, reaffirming expectations that music will play a big part in activities, guaranteeing a festive environment.
Cuban and Brazilian athletes participating in the Games also had the opportunity to meet and exchange greetings.
Three-time world champion boxer, Julio César La Cruz, commented after the ceremony, "It's always a pleasure to see the national flag raised, an important moment that inspires us more for the competition."
Cuba registered 124 competitors in 18 sports, and the athletes' presence in the Village continued to expand with the arrival of the wrestling team, headed by two-time Olympic champion Mijaín López, who will lead the Cuban delegation during opening ceremonies.