Lausanne Switzerland, February 8, 2023.-Volleyball legend and the FIVB Executive Vice-President Mireya Luis Hernandez has been named among the 10 best Cuban athletes of all time.
Cuban sports journalist and blogger Javier Rodriguez included the name of the three-time Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion among those of iconic athletes like chess player Jose Raul Capablanca, high jumper Javier Sotomayor, long jumper Ivan Pedroso, boxers Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon, fencer Ramon Fonst, baseballer Martin Dihigo, judoka Driulis Gonzalez and wrestler Mijain Lopez in his entry on the country’s top athletes in history.
Mireya Luis is one of only two females in this iconic company.
“With greatest respect to the splendid Regla Torres, chosen as the best player of the 20th century by the FIVB, my vote for this team, after an intense mental debate, goes to the lady from Camaguey,” Rodriguez wrote. “Captain of the lucidly named Espectaculares Morenas del Caribe, who achieved unprecedented achievements with that triple Olympic crown, she was a true offensive and motivational leader. Without the ideal height for a volleyball player, she was able to jump flawlessly more than three meters in attack and blocking. Her tremendously brutal shots earned her the Best Attacker award at several top-level events. Inducted to the FIVB Hall of Fame, a few experts place her as the greatest in history.”
The blogger then went on to list Luis’ top results:
• Three-time Olympic champion (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000)
• Two-time world champion (Brazil 1994 and Japan 1998)
• Three-time World Cup gold medallist (1989, 1991 and 1995, always in Japan)
• Two-time Grand Prix title-holder (Hong Kong 1993 and Philippines 2000)
• Four-time Pan American Games champion (Caracas 1983, Indianapolis 1987, Havana 1991 and Mar del Plata 1995)
Born in 1967, the legendary Cuban outside hitter also won gold at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in 1993 and at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship in 1985, as well as several North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Championship titles. Her collection of Most Valuable Player awards includes those from the FIVB Volleyball World Cup in 1989 and 1995, the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in 1993 and the Junior World Championship in 1985. Luis’s club career led her to domestic trophies from top national competitions in Japan and Italy. The Cuban standout also won the European Champions Cup with Italy’s Volley Bergamo in 1999 and 2000.
Just about a year ago, ESPN also chose Mireya Luis among the five unforgettable names in Cuban women’s sports.