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Alberto Juantorena
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    (December 3, 1950- )
    Born in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
    Cuban Olympic runner
    Won the 400 and 800 meter runs at the 1976 Olympics
    Nicknamed 'El Cabello' (The Horse) or simply called by his first name in Cuba
    He has never criticized the communist government that has imprisoned his country for decades and which so many Cubans have died trying to escape.
    Unlike the true amateurs from the western countries he beat, the Cuban government supported him during his training and rewarded him lavishly for doing well.
    He was originally a basketball player and had to be talked into trying running by a visiting Polish running coach.
    His winning of the 400 (in altitude record time) and 800 (in world record time) in the same Olympics has never been equaled and few have rarely tried.
    At six foot three and 185 lbs. he had huge height and physical strength advantages over his competition.
    He had a lengthy career (1972 - 1983), spending most of it at the top of international competition.
    Like his friend, boxer Teofilo Stevenson, he was a hero to the Cuban people because of his accomplishments, not because of communist propaganda.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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