Antonio Castro, son of long-time former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, told AFP on Friday that his battle to get baseball and softball restored to the Olympic Games sport roster came from “deep inside me and my soul.”
Antonio Castro, who ironically became an orthopaedic surgeon after his nascent baseball career was cut short by a knee injury, added it was crucial to Cuba for the sports to regain their places after being ousted from the 2012 Games.
Castro, vice-president of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) since 2009, is in Buenos Aires to present the case for the reinclusion of baseball/softball to the 103 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on Sunday.
They face stiff opposition from wrestling, which was dropped from the roster in February but has fought back strongly, and squash, who have campaigned well and are having their third attempt at getting on to the Olympic programme.
Castro, the Cuban team doctor at last year’s Olympics, said getting back in to the Olympics would mean the world to the Cuban people.
Castro, one of nine children fathered by Fidel, said that while his name brought him recognition and made conversation easier with IOC members this was his own personal project.
Castro, who in the two subsequent Olympics was then the baseball team doctor, said that he believed the joint bid had re-established itself in terms of being recognised by the IOC as a serious contender and was growing into a more global sport.
Castro, whose father stepped down after five decades as leader of the Communist regime in 2006 because of ill health and his uncle Raul replaced him, said it had been a rewarding experience for him.