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The group was made up of representatives from baseball, track and field, female indoor and beach volleyball, boxing, diving, canoeing and tae kwon do.

Silver-medal baseball players Pedro Luis Lazo and Alexei Bell, and boxer Emilio Correa, as well as bronze decathlon winner Leonel Suarez carried the island's colors.

"We returned home with our head held high, carrying the shield and honor of our people proudly," said Bell.

"Our common aim was to fight for victory in the hardest and most complex sports games of history," he stated.

Young Communist League first secretary Julio Martinez stressed that the Olympic athletes "symbolize the courage and drive of Cubans, capable of such achievements of dignity and pride."

Former three-time Olympic super-heavyweight champion Teofilo Stevenson termed the Cuban boxing team's performance good, because it classified eight of 10 boxers to the semifinal competitions.

Cuban coach Pedro Roque coincided with Stevenson and said the refereeing was terrible, which not only affected the island's boxers, but also those from Ecuador, France and other countries.

Roque highlighted the Cubans' patriotism, dignity and willingness to compete in healthy sports, away from mercantilist interests.


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