jueves, agosto 09, 2012

More Cuban(-Americans) in London Olympics

Robin Prendes: (Sailing) Cuban-born Robin Prendes moved to Miami with his parents at the age of 6. He began to row there, at the American Barge Club, at the age of 12.  Born in Matanzas, Cuba.

Danell Leyva: (Gymnastics)  Cuban-born Danell Leyva fled Cuba with his mother and older sister 18 years ago. Now here he was, gold medal around his neck, USA emblazoned on his chest.  "I'll always be proud to have been born in Cuba. I'll forever be Cuban," Leyva said before the world gymnastics championships, where he won the parallel bars title on Oct. 16 to give the U.S. men their first gold medal since 2003.

Manny Huerta:(Triathelon) Cuban-born Manny Huerta's grandmother fled Cuba in the 1980 Mariel boatlift.  "She just said it was a very small boat, it was very crowded," said Huerta, 28. "She was just happy that she was able to make that trip. Thanks to her, we were able to move to the U.S." She was granted U.S. citizenship and then helped Huerta, his family get visas to join her in the U.S. In Cuba, Huerta's mother was a university physics professor. Now she's a driving instructor in Miami.

Amy Rodriguez: (Soccer) "I'm really competitive," she says. "That's probably why my coaches always put me at forward because I'm the one that's always persistent, always the one that's going out there and play after play trying to make something happen. I'm part Hispanic -- my dad's Cuban -- so that fiery Latina attitude definitely [comes out] in my game."  Rodriguez says she's pretty Americanized and only speaks a little Spanish. But there are plenty of family reunions where Grandma cooks traditional dishes like congri, a mixture of rice and beans.

Christina McHale: (Tennis) Born in Teaneck NJ-- She is the daughter of John and Margarita McHale. Her father John is an Irish American while her mother Margarita was born in Cuba.

Ryan Lochte: (Swimming) By now, you know all about him.  Let's remind everyone that his mother was born and raised in Cuba and he loves his grandmother's cooking! His favorite food is Bistec empanizado, picadillo y ropa vieja.  Yeah!

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