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02/04/2020 11:00
‘Winners always want to win more’ – Robertlandy Simon
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Luxembourg, April 2, 2020. Robertlandy Simon is one of a kind. The Cuban middle blocker of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA always stuns the audience with his incredible athleticism and jumping ability. Right now, like most people across the globe, he is on lockdown and misses Volleyball action very much.

“We have had such an amazing season this far,” he says. “We have been doing very well across all competitions and our goal was to retain our titles in the national league and in the CEV Champions League as well, or at least one of the two. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the pandemic has stopped all action and we have been staying at home for three weeks now.”

Simon spends his time trying to stay in shape as much as possible. “We do not know whether the competition will resume or not. For now, we have a video call with all members of the team once a day where we work on our abs. Moreover, we follow a programme shared by the staff, doing what is possible from home but I have not played Volleyball for weeks now, so I almost forgot what it feels like to work with the ball,” Simon continues. “I do not live close to any other member of the team and anyway, we follow the instructions, practicing social distancing. I speak every day to my family back home in Cuba and this helps a lot.”

Before joining the star-studded roster of Cucine Lube, Simon travelled the world, playing in countries as diverse as Korea and Brazil. “The Korean league was very tiring, because we played a lot of matches. Moreover, I needed some time to adjust to the local culture, to the food, even though there was an interpreter with me all the time assisting with everything I needed. It was a very enriching experience, because Korea is so different to everything else I knew before and I had a good time.”


The next stop in his career was in Brazil, where he played for Sada Cruzeiro. “Their approach to Volleyball is completely different, since in Brazil I started working with weights two or three times a week, which was very good for my physical condition. It helped me nurse some little problems I had with shoulders and knees after coming from Korea. Moreover, the people there are so warm that you make friends in no time and it does not really matter to anyone whether you are a successful Volleyball player or what else you do in life. The people and the atmosphere there reminded me of Cuba.”

Back to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought sport to a halt, Simon is proud of a nice gesture made by the Cuban government. A group of doctors and health care staff recently travelled to Italy to help the locals deal with such an unprecedented emergency. “As small as this delegation may be, I think it is a very nice gesture. Cuba has done the same with other countries in need before and I believe this action comes from the heart of Cuban people,” he says.

Simon’s ultimate dream is to play at the Olympics, but Cuba has not qualified for Tokyo 2020. “Apart from that, I have to admit that I do not have any too specific dreams. I hate losing, so when I step onto the court I always feel the same motivation to win. As an athlete, you never win enough titles or matches – you always want more. As for the current situation, I invite all Volleyball fans to stay at home. I know it is not easy but I am sure we can manage. We can find inner strength by thinking of the good things that have happened to us and I am sure that better times will come soon.”

News nr. 1269 of 23547
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