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The Story of the Best Volleyball Team in Olympic History | Arriba Cuba

The Story of the Best Volleyball Team in Olympic History | Arriba Cuba


Competing at the Olympic Games
requires an absolute sacrifice. For women,
that sacrifice is even bigger. I sacrificed everything
for 12 straight years. (ARRIBA CUBA:
LAS MORENAS DEL CARIBE) The story of “The Caribbean
Girls” is, without a doubt, one of the most compelling
in Cuban Olympic history. In 1978, at the
World Championship, playing against Japan, the so-called
“Oriental Witches” were defeated by the Cuban team which became known as
“The Caribbean Girls”. That victory became such
a sensation that Cuba’s revolutionary leader,
Fidel Castro, gave the team full
governmental support. Thanks to our political system,
which is our main sponsor, allowed us to focus
on achieving our goal. “The Caribbean Girls” became
more than a team – a legend was being forged, a symbol that went
beyond volleyball. We won our first Games
in Barcelona ’92. Cuba hadn’t participated in
Los Angeles ’84 and Seoul ’88, so our generation was
really eager to win medals and we did everything
we could to win. Our motivation for winning
was our country. Cubans love sports, and our victories brought joy
to our people. Our commitment, other than to
our families and our country, was to the leader
of the Revolution. He always fought for us,
to make us better. He would ask what our goal was
and we would reply “winning”, because we represent
the Cuban people. Some people might not
understand it, but those living in Cuba
in those difficult years can understand it very well. The people needed
some sort of joy – that was our motivation
at that time. They needed it. In Atlanta,
the team was more mature – there were some changes
but we had a strong foundation. There was a hair salon
inside the Olympic village. We all wanted to look
good for the cameras because the Games were
televised. We wanted to have good hair. We became distracted, and we lost our focus. Our coach got really angry. He said that wasn’t normal and that he’d lost hope
that we’d win gold. That made us worry. The Brazilians had
prepared very well. They knew our weaknesses, and were there to win
the gold medal. It is well known
what went down. That match became more
important than the final. 20 years later,
people still talk about it. It was a very tough match
because they were so close. In the end we won and went on to play
the final against China. Imagine, both teams
wanted the medal, the Brazilians weren’t happy,
a fight broke out. But in the end,
we won a spectacular match, a beautiful
and tightly contested match. After the game against Brazil,
we were very excited. Our coach became worried. The Olympic Games
were not over yet, we still have to play
against China which is as good as Brazil
and could beat us. When you sacrifice so much and achieve as much as we did, it tastes like glory. It’s worth all the sacrifices
as a teenager and as a woman. I’d do it again. Some people think that
athletes’ lives are easy, but they aren’t. I didn’t have the chance
to become a mother, but I’ve achieved other things, which would’ve been difficult
to accomplish if I had chosen to become a mother, because
I would’ve lost valuable time. You owe yourself to the team. Getting pregnant was
a big responsibility. You can’t damage the team.
All of that must be sacrificed. The sport goes first. “The Caribbean Girls”
represented women of the third world in
developing countries as well as Cuban women. Simple women, of very humble
origins, almost all were black. We represent the strength
of Cuban women. We were the face of
Cuba abroad. We were the ambassadors
of Cuba. They are a symbol for Cuba. They brought international
prestige to Cuban sports and to Cuban women. We became role models
as women and as a team. My team was known to
have strong women. We played aggressively. We were very temperamental,
moody, nobody liked to lose. Those two things combined
were explosive. Cuban women have always been
aggressive and feisty. That aggressiveness was
necessary because there were great teams that pushed us
to the limit on every game, so we had to be aggressive. When they looked at my face,
without me saying a word, they’d realise
they couldn’t beat me. I try to teach my athletes
that same aggressiveness, the perseverance
and fighting spirit that we had on the court. The aggressiveness in the jump,
the power of the attack… Those were concepts
shared by all of us and we try to pass that on
to the new generations. Eugenio George, our coach,
was like a father to us. He trained us to play hard but also taught us
to be feminine. We played like men, but after
the game we were ourselves. Feminine, modest, fragile,
delicate, with many virtues. Despite the toughness
of training, you have to preserve your
essence as a woman. He taught us how to
project our femininity, how to wear make-up,
how to dress, even how to walk. He made us read so we could
express ourselves better. He wanted us to dress up
and be elegant, so we’d go around
turning heads. He wanted people to
notice the Cuban team. We owe so much to that great
man, because he made us what we are, what we were. Our coach used to say that we defended our country
in the trenches of sport. By defending our colours, respecting each other, looking after yourself,
as a human being, as a woman. We are like family – that’s what Eugenio taught us. Every now and then
we all get together, we are always connected. We always find a way to gather
“The Caribbean Girls” from the first to the last. – Victory!
– Cuba! (RUSSIAN FEDERATION, SET POINT) From Sydney 2000, many people remember the match
against Russia because we were down
after two sets. The first two sets were intense
for both teams, but we got back in the game, due to our superior athletic
conditioning. By the fifth set,
the Russians were tired. It was my turn to serve. The ball bounced back. I passed it to Taymaris Agüero. She passed it to Regla. I can’t even explain the rest. I get very emotional
talking about it. I came to know each one
of them so deeply. I dreamt of them. I cried and laughed with them. There are no words to
describe everything I felt
as captain of that team. That team,
“The Caribbean Girls”, should live in the hearts of all those who love
volleyball. We just want to be remembered
as “The Caribbean Girls” – as the great champions
we became. (CUBA, GOLD – VOLLEYBALL WOMEN)

100 thoughts on “The Story of the Best Volleyball Team in Olympic History | Arriba Cuba”

  1. ahora cuba, esta pasando una situación terrible. no participará por primera vez en los jj pp, tampoco en los jjoo , quedo 7/8 en los centroamericanos y Caribe, fue eliminado en 1 ronda en la world championship.
    todo por esa maldita Federación. cuba tiene atletas regadas por el mundo. muy buenas, tienen equipazo para volver a la elite, porque tienen potencia, habilidad, maña se lo llama , algo que no tienen los demás!! cuba, esta tocando fondo! Pero estoy seguro que volvera a la elite! no volvera a los primeros lugares de la noche a la mañana, Pero irá creciendo para volver donde estaba! estoy seguro de esk

  2. En esos tiempos las jugadoras eran la materia prima ,,,ahora. Tambien,,, sin embargo,,,lo. que vale. Mas. es el trabajo ,serio,y planificado,,

  3. Nós brasileiros não esquecemos de Atlanta. Embora temos perdido em 2007 no pan do Rio. Mas Atlanta foi demais.

  4. E pensar que o Brasil poderia ter sido tri campeão olímpico se tivesse vencido em 2016, teria igualado o
    feito de Cuba.

  5. Desde Rep Dominicana mi respeto por este equipo de Cuba que sido insentivos para todo el volleyball Latino Americano y una influencia para el mundo entero en cuanto a volleyball se refiera. Muy orgullosa de ser Caribeña al igual que estas guerreras del deporte, Dandole un espacio muy importante a roll de ser mujeres y que triunfan en lo que hacen. Su legado dentro del deporte mundial jamás morirá… Felicidades Campeonas

  6. Yo si los recuerdo están linda como siempre y vi todos los finales de las tres olimpíadas Barcelona_ Atlanta _sidney

  7. mis respeto a esta grande escuadra cubana que logro todos los titulos.saludos desde peru lindas las morenas del caribe

  8. SIENDO PERUANO NO SE COMO AMO ESTE EQUIPO DE CUBA Y COMO DETESTO A MORIR A LAS BRASILEÑAS DE BRAZIL.
    SERA PORQUE LAS FAVELAS DE BRAZIL SON TAN ARROGANTES Y PETULANTES…EN CAMBIO VEO A LAS CUBANAS Y SON TAN SENCILLAS Y HUMILDES.
    ESO LES FALTA A LAS BRASILEÑAS Y POR ESO AHORA NO SON NADA EN EL VOLLEYBALL ACTUAL.

  9. โลกวอลเลย์บอลจะจารึกพวกเธอไว้ว่า พวกเธอคือทีมที่ดีที่สุดในยุคนั้น

  10. cuba uma selecao muito boa ,mas quando jogava contra o Brasil sempre teve um jogo a flor da pele Brasil jogou muito a unica selecao que podia vencer Cuba,mas as Morenas comecaram a gritar e mexer com o psicologico com elas a Brasileiras linda historia !
    Brasilllll mejorr

  11. Me hisieron llorar con esas jugadas y tanto sacrificio de atleta y de ganas que el mundo supiera de ustedes las mejores las reinas de CUBA!!!!!!

  12. (Bom Jesus da lapa-BAHIA- BRAZIL)vale São Francisco.I LOVE YOU FOREVER CUBA VOLEBOL.FELIZ 2019./JESUS VEM BREVE😇😇😇💚💚💚☝

  13. Impressionante como todas elas saltavam muito e batiam muito forte. Como esquecer de Miréia Luiz? Uma lenda do vôlei, melhor jogadora de todos os tempos. Abraços do Brasil.

  14. Ese mismo sistema político errado que las llevo a las cupidez del voleibol mundialista fue a la.mismo que la despareció en voleibol moderno .lamentablemente

  15. Emocionante historia, wow 😮 ganar la medalla de oro en tres olímpicos consecutivos..1992, 1996, 2000 , las morenas si que dominaron el volleyball mundial

  16. Campeonas a lo alto dejando historia en el voley mundial, todas jugaban pero todas!!! Mireya mi Favorito, mis bendiciones pueblo cubano desde Perú 🇵🇪

  17. Gracias, gracias, por todas las alegrias que nos dieron. Todos los cubanos estamos muy orgullosos de su sacrificio y de sus logros.

  18. (Bom Jesus da lapa-BAHIA- BRAZIL )ILOVE YUO VOLEBOL CUBA TRI CAMPEÃ OLÍMPICA.FELIZ 2019./JESUS VEM BREVE😇😇😇💚💚💚☝

  19. Mireya,las reglas, carvajal,Acosta Fernández etc etc, simplemente espectacular dominio absoluto por más de una década no solo en juegos olímpicos también en copas mundiales y campeonatos del mundo,Cuba isla pequeña mataba gigantes como Rusia China Brasil una generación de oro jamás se repetirá algo parecido mis respetos a esas grandes deportistas

  20. I have just realized…this was the same team that went here in the Philippines in 2000 (?). I remember being mesmerized at how these athletes can look both sporty and glamorous. They were wearing jewelry. 😂😂😂

  21. Morenas Linda's e inolvidables no me canso de verlas una y orra ves sobre Todo porque representative mi revanxha de Peru contra Brazil. Commo disfrutaba cuando ganaban a Brazil

  22. I agree with this. But why cant they try having 2 setter hitters anymore? Cuban volleyball has declined after sydney.

  23. Las morenas del caribe están dentro de mi corazón muchas gracias por darnos a todo el pueblo de Cuba tanta Felicidad .son el orgullo de una isla pequeña en el planeta gigante en el caribe.

  24. Que talento, valor humano de estas mujeronas, dios permita que Cuba 🇨🇺 nunca cadesca de ésta calidad de mujer, son grandes por siempre MORENAS DEL CARIBE las amo

  25. Soy brasileño y yo era enamorado de esto maravilloso equipo! Mismo cuando jugaban contra brasil yo apoyaba Cuba, las mejores de siempre! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  26. Em 1996, com 10 anos de idade, eu me apaixonei pelo vôlei assistindo a Olimpíada de Atlanta. É claro que, ao final, chorei horrores ao ver o Brasil perder para a Cuba, com toda aquela confusão no final. Em 2000, nova derrota para Cuba nas semifinais. As cubanas sempre foram a pedra no sapato do Brasil. Quando o time de Cuba está forte, ele é imbatível. O que essas cubanas fizeram foi algo mágico e inesquecível de ver! Sou completamente apaixonado por essa geração tricampeã olímpica. Desde então, nunca mais vi no voleibol um time tão especial, com jogadoras tão singulares, como a desse time de Cuba. Mireya Luis, Yumilka Ruiz e tantas outras são fenômenos que ainda não foram superados por nenhuma outra jogadora de qualquer seleção. Tudo o que eu queria era ver Cuba voltar a brigar por títulos. É claro que isso seria muito mau para o Brasil. Mas para mim, não havia nada melhor no mundo do que ver um jogo entre Brasil e Cuba pegando fogo!

  27. SERA MUY DIFICIL VOLVER A VER UN EQUIPO DE VOLEIBALL COMO LAS MORENAS DEL CARIBE.( 3 OLIMPIADAS Y 2 COPAS MUNDIALES SEGUIDAS ES HISTORICO) QUE EQUIPAZO CUBANO. TENIAN ALGO Q NO SE COMO EXPLICAR. ES ESE ALGO MAS ALLA DE SU CALIDAD QUE NO TRANSMITE .NINGUN OTRO EQUIPO HASTA LA FECHA. NUNCA SERAN.OLVIDADAS. LAS ORIGINALES MORENAS DEL CARIBE( LAS VERDADERAS REINAS)

  28. A mí me impresionaba que Mireya Luis hacia pedazos el bloqueo de las tres torres rusas,lo mejor de la historia de las olimpiadas.

  29. Brazil team were stupid players can't admit how excellent the cuban team
    Cuban volleyball team is greatest team of all times.

  30. La cagaron cuando mencionaron al HP de Fidel Castro. Uds. fueron las mejores porque se sacrificaron y lo dieron todo. Pero no le agradezcan nada a ese personaje, por favor.

  31. Mi fa veramente pena che scrivano chicas y no MUJERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…Siempre sere orgullosa de ellas son un ejemplo unico para mi siempre lo fueron…

  32. No lo que fueron lo seran siempre un esempio unico de feminilidad ,belle da, anegacion,coraje…Gracias Morenas
    Cuando estaba en Cuba y me sentia triste me dejan fuerza y coraje

  33. Me encantó este reportaje, Como no recordarlas? Fueron grandes Ustedes, con un juego envidiable, lindo, unido,con un coraje tremendo, que DIOS LAS BENDIGA POR ESA HERMOSA FAMILIA QUE AÚN SIGUEN TENIENDO,,,POR ELLO SON CAMPEONAS👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙅‍♀️😘🇵🇪💖

  34. Jamás las olvidaremos, en todo el mundo serán recordadas por siempre, como las más grandes de la historia del voleibol, en Colombia siempre las tenemos presente. 🇨🇴😍

  35. So touching. I miss the dream team. The queens or the tara flex, regla bell, regla Torres, mireya Luis, Yumilka Ruiz, marlenis Costa, lilia izquierdo, and the rest of the Cuban team. I'm in tears watching this docu. Wish to see new breed of Cuban women dominate the volleyball world 😭😭😭

  36. Elas foram simplesmente extraordinárias…lindas e imbatíveis.
    O Brasil evoluiu a partir daí.
    A morenas do Caribe…
    😍😍😍😍👏👏👏👏
    Merecem todo respeito e admiração.
    Viva Cuba

  37. Sem dúvida nenhuma, não existiu um time igual! Foram as melhores do século com certeza! Saudades de Ve las jogando voleibol ❤

  38. Documentário lindo…eu sou brasileiro e adorava ver Cuba jogar, eu acordava de madrugada pra assistir os jogos de Cuba contra o Brasil, porque sabia que era sinal de jogão! Eu era fã da Regla Bell e Mireya Luís.

  39. Yo los vi con mis propios ojos , cuba perdia 2 set abajo y cuando de pronto en el 3set cuba era otro equipo mas agresivo y preciso en todas sus jugadas , parecia. De otra galacia ,hasta q llegaron al 5set ,y lo ganaron , qe emocion y sentimientos encontrados los tuve mientras recibian la medalla de oro , Son mis idolos , siempre las veo aunque pasen los años ningunas como ellas hasta ahira no hay .

  40. The greatest volleyball women Olympians to be recorded in the history and it's just so sad thinking. that the legacy has never been continued in these modern volley times.

  41. Lovely country and lovely people proud all of you.greetings from Turkey ! Ataturks kid! I believe Cuba will come over Olympics again defeat and shock the world!

  42. Cuba tinha um time poderosíssimo!!!! Agora, a verdade seja dita, as maiores batalhas de Cuba entre as décadas de 1990/2000 foram contra o Brasil!!! 1996 e 2000 em duas semifinais olímpicas, que na verdade foram dois jogos dignos de finais, foram duas BATALHAS!!!! Cuba já sabia que se conseguisse passar pelo Brasil, seriam campeãs olímpicas!!!! Eu ficava admirado em ver uma jogadora de 1,74 saltar acima dos bloqueios do porte de Rússia, China, USA e Brasil!!!! Myrea será sempre a minha preferida!!!! O Brasil foi amadurecendo e chegou ao estágio em que se encontra, com muito trabalhooooo!!!!!! Esse trabalho Cuba ENSINOU!!!! Arriba chicas del Caribe!!!! Beijos do Brasil!!!!!

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