Cuban men have a remarkable boxing tradition with Teófilo Stevenson and Félix Savón as two of only three boxers to win three Olympic gold medals in three consecutive games. Cuban women also have lesser known olympic history in the martial art of Judo, but have not won a gold since Driulis González in the 1996 Atlanta games. Recently, Cuban women have been on the comeback trail, with three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics.
Idalys Ortiz, was the youngest judo medalist, had to be satisfied with a bronze medal at the Beijing games. The judoka had a triumphant comeback, winning the women’s Olympic +78kg category title in the 2012 games. Ortiz, 22 is seeded at number six in international competition, beat Japan’s Mika Sugimoto after she was awarded the win by the referee and two judges as the fight finished scoreless after extra time. After her win the exuberant Ortiz jumped for joy and exclaimed, “it’s a dream! Now that I have achieved this, I feel very happy and I thank everyone who has contributed. My family … everyone who trusted me.”