The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Cuba

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This page contains a list of the greatest Cuban Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 3,055 Athletes, 38 of which were born in Cuba. This makes Cuba the birth place of the 22nd most number of Athletes behind Netherlands and Ethiopia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Cuban Athletes of all time. This list of famous Cuban Athletes is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Cuban Athletes.

Photo of Javier Sotomayor

1. Javier Sotomayor (1967 - )

With an HPI of 67.43, Javier Sotomayor is the most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages on wikipedia.

Javier Sotomayor Sanabria (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈβjeɾ sotomaˈʝoɾ]; born October 13, 1967) is a retired Cuban track and field athlete, who specialized in the high jump and is the current world record holder. The 1992 Olympic champion, he was the dominant high jumper of the 1990s; his personal best of 2.45 m (8 ft 1⁄4 in) makes him the only person to have ever cleared eight feet. Sotomayor is twice a gold medallist at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics and also won two silver medals at the competition. At the IAAF World Indoor Championships he won four gold medals between 1989 and 1999. In addition, he won three straight titles at the Pan American Games from 1987 to 1995. He is regarded as the best high jumper of all time. Cuban boycotts of the Olympics in 1984 and 1988 and an injury in 1996 cost him chances at additional Olympic medals, but he returned to win the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Sotomayor retired in 2001.

Photo of Alberto Juantorena

2. Alberto Juantorena (1950 - )

With an HPI of 64.67, Alberto Juantorena is the 2nd most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Alberto Juantorena (born 3 December 1950) is a Cuban former runner. He is the only athlete to win both the 400 and 800 m Olympic titles, which he achieved in 1976. He was ranked as world's best runner in the 400 m in 1974 and 1976–1978, and in the 800 m in 1976–77, and was chosen as the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977.

Photo of Iván Pedroso

3. Iván Pedroso (1972 - )

With an HPI of 55.42, Iván Pedroso is the 3rd most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Iván Lázaro Pedroso Soler (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈβan peˈðɾoso]; born December 17, 1972) is a retired Cuban track and field athlete, who specialized in the long jump, and the current coach of Nelson Évora, Yulimar Rojas and Ana Peleteiro.

Photo of Ana Fidelia Quirot

4. Ana Fidelia Quirot (1963 - )

With an HPI of 54.56, Ana Fidelia Quirot is the 4th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Ana Fidelia Quirot Moré (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈana fiˈðelja kiˈɾot]; born March 23, 1963) is a former track and field athlete from Cuba, who specialised in the 800 metres but was also successful over 400 m. At 800 metres, she is a two-time World Champion (1995, 1997) and a two-time Olympic medallist (1992, 1996). Her best time of 1:54.44 from 1989 still ranks her fifth on the world all-time list. She is regarded as one of the best female 800m runners of all time, and probably the best to not have an Olympic Gold medal in the event.

Photo of María Caridad Colón

5. María Caridad Colón (1958 - )

With an HPI of 52.95, María Caridad Colón is the 5th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

María Caridad Colón Rueñes-Salazar (born March 25, 1958 in Baracoa) is a former javelin thrower from Cuba who won the gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics, setting a new record.She lit the flame at the 1982 Central American and Caribbean Games.In 2020, Rueñes became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Photo of Silvio Leonard

6. Silvio Leonard (1955 - )

With an HPI of 52.64, Silvio Leonard is the 6th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Silvio Leonard Sarría also known as Silvio Leonard Tartabull (born September 20, 1955 in Cienfuegos) is a former sprinter from Cuba.

Photo of Dayron Robles

7. Dayron Robles (1986 - )

With an HPI of 52.16, Dayron Robles is the 7th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Dayron Robles (born 19 November 1986) is a Cuban track and field athlete who specialises in the 110 metre hurdles. He won his first major medal (a silver) in the 60 metres hurdles at the 2006 World Indoor Championships. He finished the 2006 season having improved his outdoor best to 13 seconds and become the Central American and Caribbean Games champion. Pan American gold came the following year in which also set a meet record of 12.92 seconds at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Final – making him the joint fourth fastest ever. He reached the pinnacle of his event in 2008 by setting a world record of 12.87 seconds in June at the Golden Spike Ostrava meet, and winning an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in 12.93 seconds. Injury ruled him out for much of 2009, but he returned strongly with a championship record win at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. He was disqualified at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics – Men's 110 metres hurdles.

Photo of Maritza Martén

8. Maritza Martén (1963 - )

With an HPI of 50.05, Maritza Martén is the 8th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Maritza Martén García (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾitsa maɾˈten]; born August 17, 1963 in Havana) is a retired female discus thrower from Cuba who competed in the discus contest at the 1992 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. She also won the 1987 Pan American Games. Her personal best throw of 70.68 m (231 ft 10 1⁄2 in) was achieved in 1992.

Photo of Anier García

9. Anier García (1976 - )

With an HPI of 50.02, Anier García is the 9th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Anier Octavio García Ortiz (born March 9, 1976) is a Cuban track and field athlete, winner of the 110 metres hurdles at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Born in Santiago de Cuba, Anier García established his credentials early, by winning the 1995 Pan American Junior Championships. In the next year, at the 1996 Summer Olympics, García was eliminated in the quarter-finals. In 1997, García broke to the international scene by winning 60 m hurdles at the 1997 World Indoor Championships at Paris. At the World Championships in Athens, he competed with a leg injury, and although he finished second in his quarter-final, he withdrew from the semi-finals. In 1999, García won the Pan-American Games, but was beaten second by Colin Jackson at the World Championships. The high peak of García's career was at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The Olympic final was expected to be a tight competition amongst the top five hurdlers, but García won the gold medal easily, beating Terrence Trammell by 0.16 seconds. García repeated his silver medal at the 2001 World Championships and also won silver at the 2001 World Indoor Championships and 2003 World Indoor Championships. García did not compete at the 2003 World Championships due to a thigh injury, but at the 2004 Summer Olympics, he won the bronze medal.

Photo of Osleidys Menéndez

10. Osleidys Menéndez (1979 - )

With an HPI of 49.84, Osleidys Menéndez is the 10th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 25 different languages.

Osleidys Menéndez Sáez (Spanish pronunciation: [osˈlejðis meˈnendes ˈsaes]; born November 14, 1979) is a retired Cuban track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. She was a World and Olympic Champion, and held the world record from 2001 to 2008. Her personal best of 71.70 m remains the North, Central American and Caribbean record and ranks her third on the overall list. When winning the 2005 World Athletics Championships, Menéndez broke her own world record with a throw of 71.70 m. This record was broken by Olympic champion Barbora Špotáková in September 2008 with a throw of 72.28 m. She won the Cuban National Games in 2004.

Pantheon has 38 people classified as athletes born between 1950 and 1998. Of these 38, 38 (100.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living athletes include Javier Sotomayor, Alberto Juantorena, and Iván Pedroso. As of October 2020, 9 new athletes have been added to Pantheon including Ángel Herrera Vera, Luis Delís, and Yoelbi Quesada.

Living Athletes

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Newly Added Athletes (2020)

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