Cuba is seeking to develop and strengthen its sporting relationship with Dubai following a two-week camp for its national Paralympic team that left the country’s sporting leaders in awe of Dubai’s “incredible” sports facilities.
A 39-member Cuban Paralympic team is currently in Dubai, arriving here on August 2 to prepare for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which take place from August 24 to September 5 in the Japanese capital.
The team, made up of athletes who will compete in track and field, table tennis, swimming, powerlifting, judo and cycling in Tokyo, trained at the Dubai Club for People of Determination at the resort sportsman Hamdan and the Nad Al Sheba cycle path, and will start leaving for the Paralympic Games in batches later this week.
Cubans were impressed by Dubai’s exceptional sports facilities and the warmth and hospitality of the people, and a delegation – led by Raul Fornes Valenciano, Cuba’s First Deputy Minister of Sports, and Alberto Juantorena, Chairman of the National Committee Cuban Paralympic – visited the Dubai Sports Council on Sunday to thank the Council for all its support.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, received the delegation in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Deputy Secretary General of the Council, Majid Al Usaimi, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee, and Mohammed Abdul Karim, Vice President of Dubai Club of Determined Persons.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb also gave the delegation a tour of the various departments of the Council and presented them with a copy of “My Story” – the anecdotal memoirs of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the Emirates. Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
“I am honored to receive this book and I can’t wait to read it, especially since it is the 50e year of the founding of the country, ”said Valenciano, thanking the Dubai Sports Council for their“ strong ”support to the Cuban Paralympic team.
“From my experience in this final leg of our team’s preparations for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, it is going to be a very useful experience for us and I think when our team returns from Tokyo we will have to thank Dubai for our results. at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, ”he added.
“In the future, we hope to be able to continue this exchange – between our human and technical experience, and the excellent facilities in Dubai.
“One of our goals is to make Dubai one of our main destinations for our teams’ training camps. We started with our Paralympic team, but in the future we can bring many different teams including our Olympic teams.
“I hope this is the start of a long and fruitful partnership. We have benefited from your wonderful facilities and would like to share our human experience for the benefit of sport in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
Valenciano also described Dubai as a model city that should be an inspiration to the world.
“Dubai is amazing, not only in terms of the sports facilities, which are excellent, but also in terms of the amazing buildings and architecture you see around, as well as amazing infrastructure for residents and tourists alike,” a- he declared. “This city is an example to the world – an example of what the world can achieve if everyone works together to build something good.”
Juantorena, who is a track and field legend and the only athlete to win the doubles in the 400m and 800m at the same Olympics when he won the 1976 Montreal Games, echoed the sentiments of Valenciano.
“We are very happy to be here in Dubai,” said the 70-year-old. “You have amazing facilities here and we thank Dubai and the Dubai Sports Council for supporting our preparations for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“We chose Dubai because the facilities are fantastic, the people are fantastic and the support from the Dubai Sports Council was really strong. Moreover, the people here have a good heart, great dedication and they care. They are very human people.
“The camp was fantastic and I think the relationship between Dubai and Cuba needs to grow and develop in the future. This is my hope. Deep in my heart, I feel there is a lot that we can do together for both countries in the future. We can work together to develop not only the Paralympic movement in our countries, but sport in general. “