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