Robeisy Ramirez: "… victory, that’s what I always go for"
One day, when he was 8 he got into a brawl in his school, and luckily that day Professor Jorge Luis Fermin Rodriguez (his first coach) was passing by and at the suggestion of his teacher, invited Ramirez to practice boxing.
Today, ten years after that singular event, that tiny boy became Olympic Champion; it was precisely the XXX edition of the Olympic Games in London, the scene of the coronation of Robeisy Ramirez in the flyweight division (- 52kg): “The Olympics is the biggest thing that I have lived in my career, ‘said the boxer while he dealt with a” herd “of university students, many-if not all- older than him, seeking leave an imprint in that chance encounter with a champion
“Before I arrived there (in London), I never thought I could make it (referring to gold). My team-mates and coaches inspired me. I got my confidence out of the good preparation we had all year-round. It is a direct result of having trained very hard and I always have paid much attention to what my teachers tell me.
In that simple way Ramirez described the process that took him to the highest spot in amateur boxing, a distinctive milestone in his short but prodigious sporting life. He already can boast of having the title of Champion of the Youth Olympic Games 2010 (first edition) and Pan American champion in Guadalajara 2011.
On his way to the crown in London, Ramirez acknowledges fighting two very demanding bouts: “The final fight against the Mongol (Nyambayaryn Tögstsogt) was the closest I had, maybe because I was over-confident, but the case is that he made me try harder, and, the other close fight was when I had to fight the British boxer, not because the quality of his boxing but because it was there before his audience and judges tend to favor some athletes who are in their own turf “.
But, beyond his gold medal and the fact he is the second youngest Cuban athlete to ever win a gold at the Olympics (only after boxer Juan Bautista Hernandez, who at 17 won the title in Moscow ’80) Ramirez was meant to transcend. As a further test to his courage, fate had him as the last Cuban boxer to fight for the gold: “I had a lot of pressure upon me because I was the first to fight, I was the youngest and had the opening bout; I knew I had to win and luckily I did. Being the last one was something I took easier; I went to that combat with a winning mentality”.
On August 12, in Hall 2 of the Excel Arena, the boxer, 18, received its first Olympic title: “At that moment I thought of everything: my family, my friends and my girlfriend who always helped me a lot . To my mind came the memory of the great sacrifices that I had to make to be housed away from home, losing weight, struggling with injuries, finally, I remembered everything and everyone who always encouraged me. It also helped me realize that nothing is impossible to achieve when one strives for a goal. “
With these ideals and international experience he accumulates, he is already setting new goals: “In the Olympic cycle that begins my first mission is the World Championship next year (2013) that will be held in Azerbaijan, where I want to win and I will prepare for it. I also have to tend some troubles I have been having on the shoulders and above all to work very hard to get to every event in optimal conditions”.
Smiling at the dozens of “flashes” per minute and dodging the light drizzle that was soaking us, Robeisy exuded enthusiasm. There is much enthusiasm in his words every time he has to talk about the future and says he is ready, despite his dislike, for the changes that the FIBA (International Amateur Boxing Federation) has arranged for Olympic-style boxing, “They’re wrong, at least we Cuban boxers do not like them, but we can adapt everything in this life. If back in time people used to box like this, so can we. Admittedly they are a bit abrupt changes and to assume them we will have to be better prepared. Without the helmet injuries are more frequent and punches can hurt. We will have to watch out a bit more”.
To my question of “what kind of punches he uses more” he replied without thinking “Throw, I like to throw” and is due to that tradition of his. Robeisy is a “foghterr” and a tireless puncher, and he showed it in his performance at the Olympics and that was the reason people liked him.. His speed and determination secured him a bit in the heart of the eleven million Cubans and many others that followed the London boxing tournament.
Restless, lively and friendly, he conquered hearts too with his humility. But, though he tried, he could not hide the child of 18 who he is inside. It was then that surfaced two of his deepest passions, football and Play station. “I love football, football is what I always do. My free time is not to study, not to box, or anything else … my free time is for football. It is a pity that we do not move forward in that sport … “-and made clear he feels a great sorrow that-” Of the Play Station I rather not talk…. I do not know what would become of me and my coaches if they let me have one at “La Finca”. And when we were saying good-bye, as the pure fan of Barca (Barcelona FC) he is, he said ” Messi is not only better than Cristiano, Messi is better than everyone,” and thanked Cuba for the support he has received and asked us ” to keep trusting him and waiting for his victories because that’s what I always go for”.