During my journey across Cuba, I photographed this series on two sports of Cuba; Boxing and Baseball. These two disciplines played a significant role in Cuban history and the Cuban spirit making them popular sports in Cuba.
An essential point to out, by the role of sports in Cuba; is its economic importance. Cubans who practice these sports at a professional level abroad, provide better economic opportunities for their families.
Wandering in my first few days in Havana Vieja (Old Havana), I went to visit the gimnasio de boxeo Rafael Trejo. An institution of boxing in Cuba for all those looking to becoming professional boxers.
I was quite fortunate to assist in a training session of Cuban amateurs and professional boxers.
Boxing in Cuba has provided many famous Cuban Boxers to name a few;
- Eligio Saldana
- Teofilo Stevenson (three-time Olympic gold medalist)
- Felix Savon (three-time Olympic gold medalist)
- Mario Kindelán (two-time Olympic gold medalist)
- And Joel Casamayor to name a few.
In Olympic history, Cuba has won 37 gold medals (73 overall) in boxing, second place behind the United States.
After leaving Havana, I continued my journey across Cuba and 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.
Baseball in Cuba is a national sport in Cuba, with its national league and many of the Cuban players playing in an international league in America, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Introduced in Cuba in 1870, baseball has gone to produced famous Cuban players to name a few;
- Leonys Martín
- Joel Canseco
- Yasiel Puig
- Jorge Soler
- And Yunel Escobar, to name a few.