Havana, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) Former gymnast and Olympic Champion Nadia Comaneci (Romania) was highly impressed after visiting the Cuban gymnastics school and exchange impressions with Cuban athlete Manrique Larduet, two-time medalist in the World Championship in 2015. “I am very, very happy to be here. I wanted to see where the World Championship runner-up really trains. I could not miss the chance to see this place if I came to Cuba on a visit. You have given your people a great joy and pride,” Comaneci said.
Larduet, for his part, confessed he was really impressed, too, because he never thought he would have the chance to meet Nadia Comaneci in person.
The same idea was expressed by Larduet’s head coach, Carlos Gil, who felt himself honored by the interest showed by Comaneci to meet them.
Comaneci became interested in the preparation of the athletes for the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro-2016 and Gil gave her an explanation of competitions and training bases provided for the coming months.
This is the second time that the 54 year-old gymnast visits Cuba, but the time before, was a private, for only a day and a half.
“I am very happy to talk about the importance of sport; people should practice it, for its own health, no one knows where you can reach, if you have given it a try,”, said.
Also, the only gymnast deserving of a perfect note in the history of the Olympic Games stressed the importance of investing in the sport for future generations.
The fact of having already stars in this sport, can encourage more young people, it is similar to what it was in Romania when I grew up, the facilities created by the government are wonderful, I am very impressed,” she said.
For Comaneci, based in the United States since 1989, the things done by Larduet are also a source of inspiration to gymnasts from other nations.
“If you have a champion in a small country, that tells the world that you don’t have to come from a certain place to be a champion, that anyone can get there,” she said.
Finally, she also toured the facilities where the specialities of rhythmic and trampoline are trained, and announced her desire to invite Cuban teams to the tournament which traditionally takes place in Oklahoma, under her own organization