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    Olympic journey of Ciego de Ávila`s sportmen: Mexico, starting point

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    Travesía olímpica de Ciego de Ávila: México, punto de partida

    This Friday, July 23, 2021, Invasor will live the eve of its last printed edition corresponding to its 42nd anniversary, but very few human beings on the planet will take it into account, absorbed in the start, the next day , of the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympic Games, the Tokyo 2020 Games, as they will be forever identified in historical memory, even if they are held a year later than planned.

    The multisport contest that, at first, attracted the assistance of a handful of countries in April 1896, brings together representatives of more than 200 National Olympic Committees in this century, as has happened since the version carried out in Athens, Greece, in 2004 .

    In the long period between 1896 and 1964, no exponent of Ciego de Ávila was able to enroll in the Olympic adventure; some tried, but stayed on the journey.

    It is also the case of two young sportmen from Cunagüa who tried to "score" the trip to the Japanese capital, the Olympic venue for the first time in 1964, when in October of that year, just a few days before the summer event, Andrés Martínez, Tamakún, and Miguel Montalvo, El Canguro, were included in the national formation that unsuccessfully sought the long-awaited passport in Yokohama, host in the Country of the Rising Sun of the Men's Pre-Olympic Basketball Tournament.

    Led by Jacintón González, Pedro Chappé and Raúl García, los criollos finished behind the teams of Mexico, Australia, Canada and South Korea, set in that order. They did not qualify, although they did win against the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia, teams occupying from sixth to tenth places.

    Three years later, Montalvo tried again, then with more success, as the one meter, 98-centimeter-tall man, and 85 kilograms of body weight, celebrated his 24th birthday in Winnipeg, Canada, home of the V Pan American Sports Games, and scenario in which Cuban basketball scored a historic triumph in the match against Brazil, which had just ranked third in the Montevideo World Cup. When concluding in the fourth place of the hemispheric struggle, the bigger of the Greater Antilles was registered among the official contestants who would take part in the Olympics that in 1968 would organize the Mexican capital.

    Miguel Montalvo

    Taken from the LPV Sports Weekly

    With the number eight on his shirt, Montalvo would go to the court on Sunday, October 13, 1968, the day our team added 61 cards to 70 for the Bulgarian squad, in a duel with which they debuted in elimination group B.

    Among 16 contenders for the title, they barely finished eleven, but they fought tenacious confrontations, to the point of yielding tightly in two of them, against Mexico (75-76) and Poland (75-78), filing smiles at the expense of the South Korean quintets, Morocco and Panama, and show the rise in quality of this dynamic discipline in the Pearl of the Caribbean.

    Miguel Montalvo would return from Mexico City as the owner of an unforgettable experience. Although he barely intervened in it, since he was acting as a player of change, he could not imagine then that he had signed the Olympic debut of Ciego de Ávila, the province that, at the end of 1976, would be inserted into the new political and administrative panorama from the country.