15 Facts About Alberto Juantorena


Alberto Juantorena's running talent was discovered by a Polish track coach, Zygmunt Zabierzowski, who convinced him to start running seriously.


Alberto Juantorena was ready for the change because as he states himself he was a 'bad' basketball player and his idol was the Cuban sprinter Enrique Figuerola.


Only a year later, Alberto Juantorena reached semifinals of the 400 m event at the 1972 Summer Olympics.


Alberto Juantorena proceeded to win a gold medal at the 1973 World University Games and a silver at the 1975 Pan American Games, both in the 400 meters.


Alberto Juantorena was unbeaten in 1973 and 1974, but underwent two operations on his foot in 1975.


Alberto Juantorena only seriously took up running the 800 meters in 1976, so few thought he was a candidate for the Olympic gold that year.


Alberto Juantorena made it to the 800m Olympic final, and led the field for most of the race, eventually winning in a world record time of 1:43.50.


Alberto Juantorena was the first non-English speaking athlete to win Olympic gold in this event.


The 400 m race was mired in controversy when the race was re-run a day after the initial race, in which Alberto Juantorena finished third, because Alberto Juantorena lodged a successful protest that his slow start had been due to not being able to hear the starter's gun.


Alberto Juantorena, now known at home as El Caballo, continued his career, although injuries meant he would never reach the same level as in Montreal.


Alberto Juantorena had been born with flat feet that caused feet and back problems, and he had to have corrective surgery in 1977.


Alberto Juantorena returned to training with a view to competing in the 1984 Summer Olympics.


Alberto Juantorena is a member of the World Athletics Council, and has served as an Athletes' Commission Chairman and Grand Prix Commission Member.


Alberto Juantorena is married to Yria, a former gymnast; they have five children.


Alberto Juantorena's nephew Osmany Juantorena is a professional volleyball player.