Legendary Cuban volleyball player Regla Torres, who clinched three consecutive Olympic gold medals, shared her deep disappointment and shame over the treatment meted out by the Cuban Volleyball Federation to its former players.
This approach, according to Torres, directly affects the growth and success of the sport in Cuba.
Torres, who was crowned the best player of the 20th century by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in 2001, conveyed her decision to skip the Pan American Games in Chile.
Her absence from the national team resulted from the recent events during tournaments in the Dominican Republic and Canada.
Reflecting on her 15-year association with the National Volleyball School since the 2008 Olympics, Torres remarked, “I’ve seen the deterioration of women’s volleyball from the inside.”
This decline, she emphasized, is due to “missteps, poor decisions, whims, arrogance, mediocrity, incompetence, lack of commitment, indiscipline leading to underperformance, inflations, dishonesty, external influencers, so-called experts ruining the essence of Cuban volleyball, and others with ulterior motives.”Diana Nyad’s Legendary Swim: From Cuba to Florida at Age 64 Inspiring a Netflix Film a Decade Later
She expressed her frustration with certain “officials,” stating that they have been disrespectful towards the legacy of Cuban volleyball – symbolized by the iconic ‘Morenas del Caribe’ team – and trampled over what was once a proud heritage without any remorse.
Torres believes that out of sheer “pride,” there has been no genuine conversation with the star players about rejuvenating the sport in Cuba.
“I’m deeply upset and ashamed,” she asserted, while emphasizing her reluctance to continue in a role that merely imposes discipline without truly contributing to the sport’s betterment.
Reminiscing about her time as a player, when they played not for money but for passion and country, Torres said, “We represented Cuba with pride, earning meager salaries but giving our all on the court, driven by the sheer love for the game and our nation.”
Legacy of The Morenas del Caribe
The ‘Caribbean Brunettes’ rose to fame by clinching three Olympic golds and three world championships.
Marleny Costa, a former teammate, supported Torres’ stance, saying, “Many of us have made decisions based on the issues you’ve raised. You’ve said a lot, yet there’s still more left unsaid.”
Another renowned player, Daimí Ramírez, who played alongside Torres in 2008, also echoed her sentiments and thanked ‘The Caribbean Brunettes’ for being a source of inspiration.Cuba: Date of the next Capablanca in Memoriam Chess Tournament is modified
In recognition of their immense contributions, players like Torres and Yumilka Ruiz were inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame located in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA.