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Alberto Juantorena

  • Cuban athlete
  • Born December 3, 1950

Alberto Juantorena (born 3 December 1950) is a Cuban former runner. He is the only athlete to win both the 400 and 800 m Olympic titles, which he achieved in 1976. He was ranked as world's best runner in the 400 m in 1974 and 1976–1978, and in the 800 m in 1976–77, and was chosen as the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977.


I run in practically every single road race in my country, 5k, 10k just to promote the sport.




We do not use managers, we are the representatives of our athletes, and that is why I am deeply involved in athletics, I follow our athletes careers from start to finish, 100% all the way.




We want to promote the great qualities of athletics - and maintain its integrity - all over the world.




I love music, and outside of work my family keeps me very busy, I have five children to keep track of.




The most important part of this is to prepare the athlete for life in general and then be able to compete.




I am always fighting inside the Council to get the message across that at each competition venue, we should send somebody to inspect and to make sure the athletes will be looked after in a correct manner.




We need to be aware of all aspects: To check how they travel, how they eat, the competition conditions.




In Cuba we use our champions to promote the sport.




We are just not made up to be middle distance runners.




If we carry on filling up the calendar, we keep on pushing the athlete, we shorten the athletes longevity. The risk is to shorten a career that could have lasted 10 years because the athlete is burnt out.




Be very strong... be very methodical in your life if you want to be a champion.




And then you have the responsibility and the duty of being good examples to youngsters, not smoke, training hard, go to bed early, don't drink alcohol, don't take drugs, it's very important to have a policy for educating against doping.




We want to make sure our athletes have a future once their athletics careers are over.




I got involved in athletics during physical education lessons at school.




Then I received support from the Government to compete for my country, and to represent Cuba in competition.




My main point in this regard was to compete for my country and my people and to receive the support of the entire Cuban society, to carry my flag in whatever competition I was in, the Olympic Games, Pan-American Games.



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