Congrats to Cuba for a Great Tournament!

Cuba_latino_groundcrew USA may have won the gold medal at the Pre-Olympic tournament in Havana but at the same time many friendships were forged between American and Cuban people.  For me it was the ground crews of Latino Americano, Changa and Nelson Fernandez stadium that also exhibited a gold medal performance through the tournament.  Dscn1718_1 With all of the efforts and time spent renovating and maintaining the field in a very difficult climate they deserve a lot of credit for keeping the fields safe.  IBAF provided some resources for the tournament regarding equipment and materials from  Canada but everything else came from Cuba.Dscn1749

The Latino Americano crew was managed by Juan.  Juan was the groundskeeper in 1999 for the Orioles Cuba game as well.  In general… he is the motivator and leader of sportsturf management in Cuba.

He is supported by  Chino, Landi,  Marcos, Beeeccckkky, and several others that were extremely happy to be learning from our American crew which included Chad Olsen, Erik Frye, Darrell Lemmer, Brian Fitz, Budgie Clark and Rick Newville and at the same time we were able to learn from them as well. Erik_rick_darell_brian_in_cuba

The Cuban federation president Carlos and INDER President Christian set the tone for the goals that needed to be achieved before and during the tournament.  Our interpreter Elias worked tirelessly with logistical issues and training of the crews. Dscn1774 

Can’t forget our drivers Ernesto and Felix who had many early mornings due to the  10am games followed by 9pm starts.  Not more than a few hours of sleep for a couple weeks.

Thanks to a great crew and staff for making this event successful.

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