The glory of Cuban sports Estela Virgen Rodríguez Villanueva died this Sunday “because of cardiac arrest” at the 26 Surgical Clinical Hospital, where she had been admitted due to problems related to the diabetes she suffered from, according to CMKX Radio Bayamo. “The Cuban sports movement is in mourning today for the death of one of the great judokas of our country and at a universal level.”
His body will be cremated and transferred to Palma Soriano (Santiago de Cuba), where he was born on November 17, 1967.
“The Pan-American judo is in mourning before the death of the Cuban judoka Estela Rodríguez”, hung on his wall of Facebook, the Pan American Judo Confederation.
“Simple, humble, kind and always a friend, this woman from Santiago leaves us at the age of 54 when we most needed her example and her personality in sports and in life”, wrote the journalist Joel García in a post. “Perhaps tomorrow I can write less hurt and more focused on what you meant for judo and for Cuba. This Sunday, April 10, 2022, the words for a farewell hurt. Damn Estela, how difficult not to have you!”
“Pan American judo is in mourning at the death of the Cuban judoka Estela Rodríguez”, posted on its Facebook wall, the Pan American Judo Confederation
For her sporting achievements, Rodríguez was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Pan American Judo Confederation. An indelible date for the woman from Santiago was October 15, 1989, when she defeated the British Sharon Lee in the final of the World Judo Championship in her category, held in Belgrade, in what was then Yugoslavia.
Before, the athlete had left her mark with the silver medals won in the 72-kilogram category at the Olympic Games in Barcelona 92 (Spain) and Atlanta 96 (USA). “She was part of a golden generation of Cuban judo”, highlights Cubadebate. She “she worked as a coach for the national pre-selections and at the Martyrs of Barbados Sports Complex, in Alamar, Havana.”
The athlete started in the sport practicing basketball, but at the age of 17, already enrolled in the Higher School of Athletic Improvement, she leaned towards judo, where she was the best in the Pan American Games held in Havana (1991), in the Tournament-A of the Budapest Bank Cup, in Hungary (2001), Grand Prix of Rotterdam, in Holland (2001).
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