In Cuba, sports play a significant part of society from athleticism, boxing, baseball and more.
Boxing was introduced to Cuba as an attraction for tourists with bouts between North American Boxers. Today Cuba holds the second-highest number of Olympic medals behind the United States.
Baseball another popular sport was introduced and made famous on the Island by Cuban students returning from American colleges. Today, many Cubans have gone on to have a successful career in the American major baseball league.
This photo series was captured during my first visit to Cuba, navigating and documenting moments like these two sports that give insight into the Cuban story.
In my first days in Havana, while wandering the streets, I came across the gimnasio de boxeo Rafael Trejo. I was quite fortunate to assist in a training session of local amateurs and professional boxers.
Following their training session, I got to chat with a few of the boxers. Through our conversations, I came to understand the role that boxing played in their daily life. Facing struggles of making ends meet or finding smart ways to provide for their family, boxing gives them a place where they escape their daily hardship. It also provides the opportunity of a professional career for those who train and work hard towards one. It offers a chance at a better life.
I continued my journey across Cuba. I stayed a few days in Viñales, a small rural town renowned for its production of Cuban cigars.
There I got to attend my first baseball game at the local stadium. The stadium set was against the backdrop of tobacco plantations and decorated with a few portraits of the country leaders.
We arrived between two “innings” a term referring to different plays of opposing teams.
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