Alberto Juantorena: “Be Very Strong”

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Dior Holliday

Alberto Juantorena ran track in high school and was a regional high school champion in the 800 and 1500 meter run but didn’t take it serious until a polish coach Zygumunt Zabierzowski saw him and see how good he was and pushed him to take it serious and from him taking it serious he is the only person to win the 400 meter and 800 meter in the same Olympic games. Surprisingly, track was not his first choice. He was a basketball player who had high hopes to be the next big player in the league but later realized he wasn’t that good at it and that’s when he started running track and a year later he reached the semi finals for the 400 meter  in the 1972 summer Olympics. He became a role model when he became the only person to win the 400 meter  and 800 meter in the same   Olympic game. Even though in 1972 he lost in the semi finals He went unbeaten for two years in the 400 meter in 1973 and 1974. He was the first to win Cuba a gold medal and also set a world record. After retiring he has served in many official capacities, including as the Vice President of the National Institute for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation for Cuba, Vice Minister for Sport of Cuba, and Vice-President, later Senior Vice-President of the Cuban Olympic Committee. In conclusion I feel like Alberto Juantorena had a big impact on Cuba and its sports but also on track and field. 

Advice from Alberto: Be very strong…be very methodical in your life if you want to be a champion.