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The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Cuba

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This page contains a list of the greatest Cuban Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 3,059 Athletes, 48 of which were born in Cuba. This makes Cuba the birth place of the 23rd most number of Athletes behind Spain and Belarus.

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 59.10, Javier Sotomayor is the most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages on wikipedia.

Javier Sotomayor Sanabria (Spanish pronunciation: [xaˈβjeɾ sotomaˈʝoɾ]; born 13 October 1967) is a Cuban former 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 ever to have cleared eight feet (2.44 m). Sotomayor is a two-time 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. After Cuban boycotts of the Olympics in 1984 and 1988 and an injury in 1996 cost him chances at additional Olympic medals, he won the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He retired in 2001.

Photo of Alberto Juantorena

2. Alberto Juantorena (1950 - )

With an HPI of 56.43, Alberto Juantorena is the 2nd most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 32 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 Ana Fidelia Quirot

3. Ana Fidelia Quirot (1963 - )

With an HPI of 42.38, Ana Fidelia Quirot is the 3rd most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 23 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 Iván Pedroso

4. Iván Pedroso (1972 - )

With an HPI of 41.53, Iván Pedroso is the 4th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Iván Lázaro Pedroso Soler (Spanish pronunciation: [iˈβam 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 Silvio Leonard

5. Silvio Leonard (1955 - )

With an HPI of 38.50, Silvio Leonard is the 5th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 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 María Caridad Colón

6. María Caridad Colón (1958 - )

With an HPI of 38.12, María Caridad Colón is the 6th 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 Dayron Robles

7. Dayron Robles (1986 - )

With an HPI of 37.95, Dayron Robles is the 7th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 38 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, for supposed violation of rule 163.2, obstruction.

Photo of Silvia Chivás

8. Silvia Chivás (1954 - )

With an HPI of 37.23, Silvia Chivás is the 8th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Silvia Chivás Baró (born September 10, 1954) is a former track and field athlete from Cuba. At the age of 17 she won a bronze medal in the 100 metres at the 1971 Pan Am Games in Cali. During the same Games, she and her teammates would take the silver medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay. At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich she won the bronze medal in 100 metres, and broke the world junior record in the first round with an 11.18 clocking. She won another bronze medal in 4 x 100 metre relay together with her teammates Marlene Elejarde, Carmen Valdés and Fulgencia Romay. In 1975 she would again win silver in the 4 x 100 metre relay at the Pan Am Games. She won a bronze in the 100 meters, and a gold in the 200 meters at the World Student Games in 1977, where she would lower her national record in the 100 metres to 11.16 in the semi-final. She would also set the national record for 200 metres in 1977, stopping the clock at 22.85. Silvia would take a bronze in the 100 meters at first World Cup of Track and Field. In 1978 she would win 3 gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games in both the sprints and the sprint relay. In 1979 she and her teammates would take a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in 1979, she would retire after these games at only age 25.

Photo of Maritza Martén

9. Maritza Martén (1963 - )

With an HPI of 36.40, Maritza Martén is the 9th most famous Cuban Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Maritza Martén García (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈɾitsa maɾˈten]; born August 17, 1963, in Havana) is a retired 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 Ángel Herrera Vera

10. Ángel Herrera Vera (1957 - )

With an HPI of 36.06, Ángel Herrera Vera is the 10th most famous Cuban Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Ángel Herrera Vera (born August 2, 1957 in Guantánamo) is a Cuban amateur boxer, who won two Olympic gold medals, and the world title at the second World Championships in Belgrade. First competing in the featherweight (– 57 kg) category, he won the 1976 Olympics as well as the 1978 World Amateur Boxing Championships. He then competed in lightweight (– 60 kg) to win another Olympic gold in 1980, and his second World Title in Munich, West Germany. In 1983 he won a silver medal at the Pan American Games.

Pantheon has 48 people classified as athletes born between 1950 and 1999. Of these 48, 46 (95.83%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living athletes include Javier Sotomayor, Alberto Juantorena, and Ana Fidelia Quirot. The most famous deceased athletes include Roberto Hernández and Roberto Moya. As of April 2022, 10 new athletes have been added to Pantheon including Silvia Chivás, Roberto Hernández, and Roberto Moya.

Living Athletes

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Deceased Athletes

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Newly Added Athletes (2022)

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