Mireya Luis shares experiences with Mexican media
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, July 11, 2012 — Cuban legend Mireya Luis, one of the best volleyball players of the past century, shared her Olympic memories and new experiences with local media now that she is part of the NORCECA Confederation Board of Administration.
She met with the media ahead of the start of the XI Women’s Pan American Cup, a qualifier for the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix.
“I am so honoured to be here now with new duties in the NORCECA Confederation and to be part of this great sport celebration as the Pan Am Cup,” said the former player who was part of the “Morenas del Caribe” squad that captured three consecutive Olympic gold medals.
The games of Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 had a special place in the history of volleyball as well as in Mireya’s heart.
“To be in three Olympic Games and also winning gold medals was something extraordinary,” she recalled.
“The games of Barcelona were special, because it was my first time at that stage. It was beautiful because I debuted between 1982 and 1983 with the national team, but I couldn’t play because Cuba didn’t take part in 1984 or 1988,” Luis added.
However the wait was worth it as great moments were reserved in her destiny.
The same experience was repeated in 2000, when it seemed that Cuba was relinquishing the throne against Russia in the final match.
“Many teams had a lot of chances to be champions at that time, we faced the Russians in the finals and we were down by two sets against them,” she recalled. “Everybody thought we would lose but we did not quit. In the end we won the next three sets and the effort was worth a lot.”
“Sydney was my last chance to win another gold medal and 70 per cent of the team members also were in Barcelona, so it was my biggest thrill and the most treasured memory,” she said.
At the same time some members of the media asked about the absence of Cuba for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“After 40 years of participation in the Olympic Games is very hard for us. The level of competition in other countries has increased and it is more difficult to qualify. We feel sorry about not being in London and I think Cuba will be missed,” Mireya remarked.
She added the Cuban Federation is currently working very hard to analyze the situation of volleyball in the country with a short and medium term project that can contribute to return the teams to the biggest stage.
“I am sure that effort and strategy will have big results and will help to be back in the Olympic Games of 2016, because Cuban volleyball deserves it,” she concluded.