Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel handed over the national flag to two-time Olympic wrestling champion Mijain Lopez, before sending off the country’s 120-member delegation to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
(Soundbite) Mijain Lopez, Flag Bearer
“It is a great honor to be the Cuban flag bearer for the third time in a row and we have shown the world that we can be the best country in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Olympics Games and I think it won’t be a different time for us at Rio de Janeiro.”
The ceremony was held at the Revolution Square in Havana on July 16, where the athletes showed their determination to win medals in boxing, wrestling, judo, track and field, as well as gymnastics.
(Soundbite) Antonio Becali, President of Cuban Institute of Sports
“Our 120 athletes of 18 disciplines know what they mean to millions of Cubans, who will follow them in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and will cheer for them from the distance, regardless of what place they will obtain in the competition.”
According to Becali, the delegation aims to be in the top 20 in the Games and surpass the country’s 5-gold-medal record attained in London.
In 2012, the Cuban team left London with a total of 15 medals, 5 gold, 3 silver and 7 bronze, ranking the 15th in the world and the top in Latin America and the Caribbean.