Triple Jumper Yamile Aldama Wanted to Compete for Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban-born athlete Yamile Aldama, who came in fifth in the Olympic triple jump finals, had requested permission from her government to continue competing for her country of origin. However she received no answer, she said in an interview with the Café Fuerte website.

In 2001, at the height of her career, the Pan American Games title-holder and fourth-place in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she married her Scottish boyfriend Andrew Dodds  and emigrated from the island to London.

Aldama competed for Sudan in Athens (2004) and now for Great Britain.  Her husband was convicted of heroin trafficking in 2002 and given a 15-year sentence. He has since been released.

“We sent letters to everyone you could think of for them to let me compete for Cuba, even offering 50 percent of the proceeds from my prize money won in European and international tournaments,” said the triple jumper. “Even so, they said no, that I should forget about that, so then I had to find my own way.”

Aldama recently won the world championships in Istanbul, Turkey, and travels regularly to Cuba.