Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana.  October 29, 2014

"I believe very strongly in people when they want to achieve something"

Marlon Vega González

I must confess that I spent a several weeks trying to find her and it wasn’t easy, but for Yarisley Silva, an athlete who needs no introduction, it was worth the wait. Fans recognize and applaud her at every competition. Her competitive results at a world level have made her into one of the protagonists of a generation of highly competitive pole-vaulters, led by the exceptional Russian, Elena Isinbayeva.

During the World Championship
final in Moscow 2013.

Her departure from the Diamond League, and her absence lately from competition were the motivations for this dialogue, in which I talk about the recent past and near future, highlighting not only her excellent sporting achievements, but also the simplicity, sincerity and human quality of this small giant, which make her greater than just what the statistics show.

Many of us would have liked to see you compete in more Diamond League events. What happened?

I wasn’t adequately prepared; we lacked a few essential components which to a certain extent influenced the decline in my performance. Nonetheless, during this time not competing, I have had some lovely experiences, such as having participated in the World Festival of Youth and Students held in Ecuador in December last year, where I had the opportunity to meet various personalities, among them, and perhaps the most special for me was being able to speak on the phone with Gerardo Hernández, one of The Five anti-terrorists imprisoned in the United States, and who despite having the most severe sentence out of all of them, was able to encourage me with so much spirit, to continue advancing in my sporting career. This gave me a lot of strength to continue moving forward.

What link may exist between the number of competitions and the results?

A lot. Since 2012, I didn’t stop competing, I had very intense competitions over the entire period, during which I positioned myself as number one in the world rankings, which generates a certain amount of pressure on me and on my family, which I miss a lot, as well as increased psychological, physical, techno-tactical preparation.

Yarisley is part of the Cuban delegation competing in the Central American and Caribbean Games. In the photo, Yarisley (left) accompanying wrestler Mijain López, Olympic and World Champion, and Judo fighter Idalys Ortiz (right), also Olympic and World Champion, during the flag raising ceremony.

All of this affected me to some extent, above all psychologically. That’s why I decided to rest, distance myself from competitions for a while, to recover and rediscover the necessary confidence to compete at the highest level.

After a few months without competing. How do you view the support of the fans?

Firstly, I have a very close family, who have supported me a lot throughout my career, I also have a technical team led by my coach Alexander Nava, who work with me day in day out and to whom I am very grateful.

I must also highlight the spiritual support of various workers at the Cerro Pelado High Performance Athletes School, in particular its director Wilmer Lewis.

The fans, above all now, given that I haven’t been competing, ask me a lot of questions accompanied by words and gestures of support. And what can I say about the children who always get so excited when they recognize me and come up to me to share with me, which is always a lovely experience.

We know that you have confirmed your participation in the Central American and Caribbean Games which will start in a few days. After this, are you considering competing in any tournaments closer to home?

No, in truth I would like to rest. In January there will be indoor competitions, but I am not thinking about participating. I will compete in the Pan American Games in July, and one month later in the World Cup which will be held in the city of Beijing, where the principal figures in pole-vaulting will participate, in particular Isinbayeva, who recently gave birth.

Dreams and prospects…

Reach five meters. This is the dream any pole-vaulter wishes to realize. I would also like to win the outdoor World Cup and then the Olympic title. These are my dreams.

Any special message to our readers?

Always fight for what you want. Be consistent working on your improvement. I believe very strongly in people when they want to achieve something. I wish, with much love, that we could further unite to combat with greater force the illnesses which have resurfaced in Africa, such as Ebola, and support the solidarity actions being carried out across the entire world for the freedom of the Cuban Five.

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