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Sports In A Cemetery

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Blanca Canino – Vigo

Havana, Cuba: Latino Sports covered the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the founding of Havana, Cuba and that was one exciting experience. Over half a million Cubans and visitors converged on the capital for the grand gala inauguration.  The Cuban’s love sports, music and like many from the Caribbean, party. The fun loving people of Cuba almost makes one forget that they are suffering from a U.S. economic blockade. As one Cuban women told us in the street, “we might have a lot of problems, but wasting time on thinking about them just makes your get wrinkles,” She continued, “life is only one and one has to enjoy it” laughing as she was guiding us to where to catch a cab

We had just come from a tour of the world famous and historical Colón Cemetery of Cuba. This cemetery is the second largest in the world.  It is at par with Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery and Buenos Aires’ La Recoleta. There we visited two particular sports related tombs. We visited the burial site of the twenty-four teenage Cuban athletes from the National Fencing team who were killed on October 6, 1976 by a terrorist explosion planned by anti-Cuban exiles.

Kepty the domino till the end. (Photo Blanca Canino-Vigo)

Another tomb that caught our attention related to sports was one of a sports betting upper class championship domino player. Apparently the women was playing for very high stakes and she held on to the number six domino believing she had the game won, only to be surprised to lose and died there at the game holding on to the domino. Her children buried and place a domino with the number she was holding on her tomb.

We also visited a burial site dedicated to baseball players. Not to any particular baseball hero, but to any baseball player who played and needed a burial plot. Baseball is indeed not just a national sport in Cuba, but a part of the culture and politics of the island.

The cemetery had many more stories, but these three related to sports were some that we had to share. If you ever visit Havana, do visit this incredible and historical cemetery.

 

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