Cuban Sports Hero Fernando Jorge ‘Deserts’ in Mexico and Becomes a Pariah

Fernando Dayán Jorge Enríquez was born in Cienfuegos in 1998 and won Cuba’s first Olympic gold in canoeing. (September 5)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 March 2022 — Fernando Dayán Jorge Enríquez, the first Olympic gold medalist in canoeing for Cuba just seven months ago, left the Cuban delegation this Sunday when he was training in Mexico. The news was confirmed by the National Canoeing Commission in a statement in which they describe the athlete’s departure as “serious indiscipline that ruins years of intense work.”

Jorge Enríquez goes from being the great promise of Cuban canoeing to a pariah in the eyes of the sports authorities who accuse him of turning “his back on the commitment to new results for his sport and his people.”

This summer, the athlete from Cienfuegos was praised after achieving the first gold medal for Cuba in the C2 1,000 meter test together with his partner Serguey Torres. “They have made history and embrace under the flag,” said the official press after the duo’s victory in Tokyo 2020.

Now, the Commission must adapt to the new situation, since the athlete was counted on for the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. “The work will continue in search of new athletes to take his place and expand the results of a sport that experienced its best season in history in 2021,” says the official note.

Jorge Enríquez, 23, had also participated in the 2019 Pan American Games, where he won two medals, and in the World Canoeing Championship between 2017 and 2021, where he won six medals.

This January he was one of the beneficiaries of a high-end vehicle after “an agreement of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers” in which it was decided to assign a car to “sports personalities with recognized careers,” among whom were the champions of Tokyo .

His colleague, Torres, said at that time: “Appreciation for this gesture, which has become a reality in the midst of difficult circumstances for the country, means recognizing once again the priority assigned to a sport that owes everything to the Revolution and its undefeated Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.”


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