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University Challenge

University Challenge

The Caribe Games is a sports competition held annually at the University of Havana with the participation of students from every faculty.

In the early days of the University at its current location, only football was practiced, until 1904 when track and field, baseball and basketball were added. In 1916, the government gave the university 51,000 square meters of sea around the Morro area for the practice of water sports. On January 16, 1922, the Athletic Commission was founded and the construction of the University’s stadium began only two months later. The work ended in 1939 and that year the first interschool games, which were then called the Chichijos, were held. In 1962, Physical Education became a compulsory part of the curriculum, with the subsequent creation of the Sports Department, which gave way to the first interfaculty Caribe Games in 1967, with the inclusion of 12 different sports.

The name and logo that identify the Games, “Caribe,” refers to the Carib, a Native American people of northern South America and the Antilles, who were warriors known for their bravery. They were one of several indigenous peoples that Christopher Columbus found when he landed in Cuba in 1492.

The Games have been traditionally held during the last two weeks of February at the university stadium, just off the main campus. And although it goes without saying that the competitions are the main attraction of the event, spectators also look forward to the opening and closing ceremonies in which hundreds of university students—future doctors, lawyers, economists, engineers—show off their artistic skills in first-rate shows.

The sporting spirit fills the hearts and minds not only of the participating athletes but also of the hundreds of spectators who fill the stands for two whole weeks. Although the competitors, like true Carib warriors, fight for their individual achievement, each athlete supports the other members of the faculty team looking to obtain the most points that will make them worthy of the Caribe Cup.

March 2012

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