The Cuban paralympic team is ready for action at next week’s 2012 Paralympic Games following a fortnight’s stay at Jurys Inn Glasgow while training in and around the city.
The 51-strong delegation of athletes and coaching staff has spent the last two weeks acclimatising to conditions in Britain, choosing Jurys Inn on Jamaica Street as a city centre base and making use of sports facilities in Scotstoun, Bellahouston and Stirling, among others.
Cuba’s squad, which boasts three world record holders and another three recent medal winners, is tipped as one to watch in the London Games, especially in the track and field and combat events.
As Scotland’s biggest hotel, Glasgow’s Jurys Inn is equipped with 18 rooms for disabled guests, including 16 partially accessible rooms with lowered beds and sockets, widened doors, additional handrails and emergency cords and a further two fully accessible rooms, which also offer roll-in wet room showers and electronic doors.
Leonardo Diaz Aldana, paralympian and javelin world record holder, said: “I have travelled all around the world for sporting events and the facilities at Jurys Inn Glasgow are some of the best I have seen.
“The hotel is very comfortable and suits the requirements of our team really well. Glasgow has been a great place to train for the Games and a welcoming start to our time in the UK.”
As well as javelin, athletics and judo, the Cubans will be competing in swimming, power lifting, shooting and cycling events.
Barry Rowland, general manager of Jurys Inn Glasgow, said: “It’s been a great pleasure hosting the Cuban paralympian team here at Jurys. There’s a real buzz around the place and the staff have found meeting the team incredibly inspiring.
“We have adapted facilities throughout our public and conference areas and the reception, restaurant and bar have all been designed with disabled access in mind.
“We’ll be saying goodbye to the team this week as they head for London for the Games and wishing all the athletes the best of luck for their events over the next few weeks.”
Cuba’s capital, Havana, has been twinned with Glasgow since 2002. During their stay, the paralympians have been treated to dinner at the City Chambers with the Lord Provost.