The Caribe Games: University Challenge

The Caribe Games are a highlight of the University of Havana’s academic year. This is the main annual sporting event and includes a lot of history and tradition. Held in the first two weeks of February, think of it as the ultimate school sports day.

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

In the early days of the university, only football was played at the current location. Then, in 1904, baseball, basketball, and track and field 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. In 1922 when the Athletic Commission was founded, the construction of the University’s stadium began. The work ended in 1939 with the first interschool games called the Chichijos. In 1962, physical education became a compulsory part of the curriculum, and the subsequent creation of the Sports Department gave way to the first interfaculty Caribe Games in 1967, which included 12 different sports.

The name and logo of the Games, “Caribe,” refers to the Carib, a Native American people of northern South America and the Antilles, who were known as brave warriors. 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. Although it goes without saying that the competitions are the main attraction, spectators also look forward to the opening and closing ceremonies in which hundreds of university students–including 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 genuine Carib warriors, fight for their individual achievement, each athlete supports the other members of the faculty team looking to obtain the most points to win the coveted Caribe Cup.

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