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Yumilka Ruiz [CUB] on the battle for Volleyball gold at Sydney 2000


I was one of the main star players of the team. We were the strongest team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and we had been preparing to defend against that. We knew the kind of responsibility that we had as there had never been a triple Olympic champion, in consecutive Olympics. Russia had the best players, they were a team very difficult to defeat
due to their height and strength. We were evenly matched, but on the last points of the set, I missed a lot of points. No one wants to miss those kind of points, but it is the nerves of the first points, the responsibility, pressure.
They make you miss the points. We lost that set. When we lost the first set, we changed court side. Our coaches, told us
“You need to concentrate, you are trying to rush things”. We went out to try to do things well. But in the second set, everything remained the same.
We tried our best, but it just didn’t go our way. To finish the second set 34-32,
we knew we had played that set better. We knew we could do this, we knew what we needed to do. When we changed court side, we didn’t speak to each other. I will never forget that, we knew this was our last chance, it was now or never. We realised that we were trying to do a lot.
Without using our head. We started to play more relaxed. That way, we slowly started to play our game. And that third set, we won it. Before we started the fourth set, our coaches told us “You haven’t won anything, you are losing.
But you are the ones losing, the Russians are not winning.” We went out to the fourth set feeling refreshed, focused and confident. On the fourth set, we did feel confident that we were the Cuban team. On the 16th point, we had an advantage. Our coaches told us, “There is nothing left, if we go backwards we lose,” “and if we lose, we lose the gold medal, we need to keep going.” “Keep playing the way you are playing, and you will see we will get the result.” The fourth set we won it very comfortably, After we won that set, we knew that the match was finally even. We could not control properly one of their serves. At the beginning of the set,
we tend to have evenly matched scores. One of my team mates, passed the ball from zone 2, away from the net. I had triple blocked and I jumped. I don’t know what height I reached
but because it was a high pass and I had time to jump. When I jumped, I remember I hit the ball above the triple block. Against a Russian team, who is very hard to aim,
due to their height and they block very well. You can imagine the adrenaline that I had.
To be able to spike with a triple block. I will always remember that point. Because I looked at my team mates and I told them “I did it”. On the match point, we were serving,
the Russian team were receiving. Our block touches the ball and it goes flying upwards, Marlen Costa passes the ball
and Taimares Aguero fakes a spike Two of the Russian blockers jump Taimares sees the block,
so she passes the ball to De La Torre. There was no one near the net from the Russian team to block the ball. When De La Torre scored the last point, we ran to each other, we hugged each other, we laughed, we kissed, we cried. At that moment, someone tried to interview me. “Yumilka, how are you feeling?” “I am very…” I was not able to talk. All I can remember is that I tried to stay calm but started to cry. When we got to the Olympic Village, we were all able to speak to our families in Cuba. That moment was fantastic. Everyone in Cuba was awake for us, that was the best thing.

David Frank

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Sherryl Dueñas Posted on April 4, 2019 at 4:57 am

    The last time i saw them played here in the Philippines. Grand prix. Along with Russian Federation, and Brazil. Leila Barros, Yumilja Ruiz and Godina..

    Reply
  2. Royeston Dsouza Posted on April 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    The greatest team…..EVER!!!! never to be replicated. A hattrick of Olympic golds…..wow!!! They had a reunion in Havana with all these greats and just to see the love between them…..no rivalry….speaks volumes of their professional ism. Vamos mujeres Cubano. What a team!!! Mireya Luis and her girls.

    Reply
  3. meguy sandoval Posted on April 6, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Heermoso..¡¡..sin palabras..

    Reply
  4. Etuate Naiseruvati Posted on April 6, 2019 at 3:39 am

    What a come back, love the courageous heart's of the teams especially the couch who's injecting them with words of Wisdom and Courage, love this teams 💓

    Reply
  5. Ron Reg Posted on April 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

    So much respect to this team.. I grew up watching them…

    Reply
  6. lisalmonte Posted on April 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Wow que final, pero no fue por arriba como ella dice eso era imposible

    Reply
  7. Antonio Marcos Posted on April 9, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Yumilka, cariño, yo te quiero mucho, pero el balón que creés haber puesto por en cima del bloqueo ruso, pasó en el medio, ya que el bloqueo estaba mal cerrado.
    La adrenalina te hizo soñar que eras Supergirl; igual eso no quita el valor de tu victoria.
    Besote desde Brasil.

    Reply
  8. sara vas Posted on April 11, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    LA CUBA LEGENDARIA POR SIEMPRE, MUJERES SUPER DOTADAS

    Reply
  9. claudio franc Posted on April 13, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Nunca mais ganham medalha em olimpíadas

    Reply
  10. Adrian Becker Posted on April 14, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Amo a estas mujeres!!! 2019!!! 😇

    Reply
  11. DANIEL ENRIQUE ROMERO ABANTO Posted on April 15, 2019 at 12:21 am

    Cuba ,Cuba,cuba únicas grandes jugadores yumilka Ruiz ,regla Torres todas fabulosas ,campeonas

    Reply
  12. Larry Lisen Posted on April 20, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    They are the greatest volleyball players of all time. Cuba!

    Reply
  13. Eddie Rios Posted on April 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Such an amazing
    Team. Aunque no soy cubano, me siento feliz que este equipo e ganado para cuba y el caribe. Mucho amor de Puerto Rico 🇵🇷

    Reply
  14. Tagum Folk Posted on April 25, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Best team ever, for sure no one will surpass their achievements 3 olympic gold metals in a row….hands down..

    Reply
  15. Jason Vote RED Posted on April 29, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Amazing story, so emotional…👌👏❤️

    Reply
  16. Joejoe Posted on May 1, 2019 at 2:56 am

    Rusia no esta ganando, ustedes estan perdiendo….eso hiso que Cuba reaccionara….

    Reply
  17. SALIM KHAN Posted on May 3, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Old is gold

    Reply
  18. Derrick Posted on May 6, 2019 at 12:53 am

    I am European, and not trying to be racist or anything. As a matter of observation, although Cuba probably has a white majority, when you look at it's sports programs, they are literally dominated by black Cubans. Up to the 90th percentile in a lot of sports.

    Reply
  19. Veronika Vinskhaya Posted on May 7, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Se acharam tanto as donas do pedaço que hoje ninguém lembra que vocês existem todas velhas e esquecidas pra sempre e Cuba esquecido mundialmente no volei isso pra vocês aprenderem a ser mais humildes e para de se acharem as bam bam bam as donas do pedaço ficar de gozação com as outras Nações hoje nem sequer são lembradas por essa nova geração dona mireia luiz e suas companheiras good bye pra vocês hoje na boca do mundo são faladas Egonu Boskovic e Thing Zu

    Reply
  20. Armando Mogollón Posted on May 10, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Uno de los mejores juegos

    Reply
  21. คนปอนๆ Posted on May 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    ตัดภาพมาตอนนี้ เนชั่นลีคยังตกชั้น

    Reply
  22. Countrycowboy08 Posted on May 12, 2019 at 2:14 am

    She looks like Cardi B

    Reply
  23. Marcos Quirch Posted on May 12, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Las morenas del caribe

    Reply
  24. Miriam Figueroa Posted on May 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    QUE LINDO equipo este de Cuba grandes Campeonas se extraña
    Hermosos Recuerdos ❤👏👏👏👏 🤗🤗🤗🇨🇱

    Reply
  25. Silvano Soares Posted on May 27, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Si, mui buena esta Equipo!!!!!!
    Saludos de Brazil!!!!

    Reply
  26. Jane Njenga Posted on May 28, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    So much inspiring. Much love kenya

    Reply
  27. Edwin Panduro Santiago Posted on May 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Wwooww 😲😲😲demaciados logross..felicidades cuba…😊😊😊😊😊a seguir pa lante y saludos desde Peru

    Reply
  28. washington lima Posted on June 1, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Cuba para sempre!!! Fábrica de campeões

    Reply
  29. Lindalva Dalva Posted on June 2, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Fantásticas! 👏👏👏👏👏

    Reply
  30. bagginzses Posted on June 5, 2019 at 4:09 am

    The cuban attire is lovely. I wish more volleyball players wore attire like this.

    Reply
  31. Douglas pereira Posted on June 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Quando a Ruiz ataca pelo bloqueio triplo, ela vira pra equipe dela e fala oq? Não consegui entender, se alguém poder me ajudar kkk👐

    Reply
  32. Gian Mejia Posted on June 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Hermosa Cuba

    Reply
  33. Thiago Assunção Posted on June 12, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    melhor seleção que já existiu ,amava assistir Brasil Cuba

    Reply
  34. Lau Enesi Posted on June 13, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    The Iconic Cuban 92-96-00 Olympic Teams The Best Ever In Womens Volleyball Hands Down. They Are The Legends and Queens of The Court.

    Reply
  35. Jose Dominguez Posted on June 16, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Yumilka entre las 5 mejores jugadora de cuba 1mireya 2 bell 3 Carbajal 4pomares 5 yumilka

    Reply
  36. Yoni Veo Posted on June 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Cuando Cuba era Cuba , plagada de estrellas.

    Reply
  37. carlos romero Posted on June 20, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Que culos tan hermosos

    Reply
  38. Leonardo Paiva Posted on June 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    No hay equipo igual

    Reply
  39. Esequias Posted on June 24, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Show de Cuba. Saudades !

    Reply
  40. IvetteGM Posted on June 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    jamás me cansaré de escuchar esta historia, es un digno ejemplo de perseverar y seguir intentando, no dejarse caer al primer intento, seguir y seguir hasta lograrlo.

    Reply
  41. dltmdwnfkdldjs Posted on June 29, 2019 at 12:24 am

    i remember womens cuba team. when i was young, they were one of dominant force. now i dont even know where they are ranked. sad

    Reply
  42. Franklin Reaño Posted on July 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    CUBA LAS REINA DEL CARIBE…..TUS REINAS DEL CARIBE….NUESTRAS REINAA DEL CARIBE…..LAS ÚNICAS REINAS DEL CARIBE…….SALUDOS DESDE PERÚ…..A LAS REINA DEL CARIBE.

    Reply
  43. Dixan Rivero Posted on July 4, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Con esta entrevista de yumilka me sacado las lágrimas ellas eran las morenas del planeta no del Caribe

    Reply
  44. Abc Xkkhahaja Posted on July 7, 2019 at 7:29 am

    The reason why I've become a volleyball fan. Cuban team is the Best, one of a kind in history. Costa, fernandez, aguero, regla bell and regla torres, yumilka ruiz and the Queen up to this day the legendary Mireya Luis..

    Reply
  45. Sebas Nieves. Posted on July 9, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Me he visto este video tantas veces!!! Y siempre me causa la misma hermosa sensación de felicidad!! Ese equipo sí que eran grandes!

    Reply
  46. Isaac Hernandez Acosta Posted on July 10, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    El equipo de ensueño ! Vamos Cuba !!!

    Reply
  47. Eddie De Leon Posted on July 14, 2019 at 5:00 am

    their uniforms are like used in water polo competitions… my observations based on this video thanks and i remember a volleyball player who landed here in the Philippines a unique smile who spikes like stirring the waters of Guantanamo bay and President Fidel Castro
    … gracias

    Reply
  48. fabian melo Posted on July 17, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Sin duda alguna las mejores de toda la historia del voley

    Reply
  49. Foxy gacha12 Posted on July 19, 2019 at 1:00 am

    I super love this cuba vollyball era!

    Reply
  50. Vill Davs Posted on July 21, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Las verdaderas Reynas del Caribe…..
    R.D solo pelea estar entre los 10 primeras… Cuba peleaba las medallas

    Reply
  51. rottentwapple Posted on July 25, 2019 at 4:13 am

    I saw Luis on the side. Was she on the court in the event? It seemed she was just there to give the team spiritual support.

    Reply
  52. C Heredia Posted on July 31, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Que bonito es el deporte

    Reply
  53. Martin Uribe Posted on August 1, 2019 at 3:47 am

    Me siento orgulloso de ser cubano, viva Cuba…….bueno soy mexicano pero me emocioné…

    Reply
  54. kevin villegas prado Posted on August 1, 2019 at 6:01 am

    ese fue el mejor equipo que tuvo Cuba y por no decir de la Historia del Volley , desde el retiro de todas esas jugadoras Cuba ya no fue el mismo lo mismo que le paso a Peru

    Reply
  55. alberto6410 Posted on August 3, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Que cuerpos de las cubanas, yo vi esa remontada histórica quedé enamorado del voley

    Reply
  56. Maco Gomez Posted on August 4, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Some years ago I searched for the reason why Cuba has not that level anymore and I found that is because a change in the emigration politics. The best players go to others countries to play and they don't come back to Cuba because those countries give them best payment so life level.

    Reply
  57. mascaraa Posted on August 12, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Missing cuba you have come back

    Reply
  58. Isaac Hernandez Acosta Posted on August 12, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Simplemente las mejores de la historia !

    Reply
  59. Lazaro Oliva Posted on August 13, 2019 at 3:10 am

    Una potencia deportiva atrabes de todos Los tiempos…pocos o casi ningun.pais del.llamado tercer mundo a podido haser lo k Cuba a hecho .
    ….en casi todos Los eventos y torneos Cuba siempre queda en.los primeros lugares …siiiiii

    Reply
  60. Andrés Mauricio Posted on August 14, 2019 at 4:08 am

    L E G E N D A R I A S

    Reply
  61. Luis Quintero Posted on August 14, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Las amo mis cubanas campeonas. Dios las cuide donde quiera que estén

    Reply
  62. Raynel Estevez Alfaro Posted on August 15, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Me encanta yumilka… que talento!!!!

    Reply
  63. MADERAS Y FIERROS GUTIERREZ ZAMORA Posted on August 15, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Las unicas reinas del caribe

    Reply
  64. Philbert Salve Posted on August 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    three olympic gold medals in a row…no team has claimed it yet other than Cuba

    Reply
  65. Pionono Jones Posted on August 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Yumilka Ruiz que clase de atleta!!!  me la imagino posiblemente donqueando en baloncesto o en salto a lo alto, no habrá otro equipo como ese

    Reply
  66. Inaldo Da Silva Posted on August 19, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Tanto para cuba….

    Reply
  67. dyshr d Posted on August 19, 2019 at 2:54 am

    BLACK GIRL MAGIC!!!!

    Reply
  68. Yasmani Lescay Lescaille Posted on August 22, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Son simplemente las mejores jugadoras de voleibol que ha visto la historia de la humanidad y responden al nombre de las expectaculares morenas del caribe .orgullo del pueblo cubano ,las amo y las amare por siempre.

    Reply
  69. manuel ruiz Posted on August 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Hablar del volibol femenino de Cuba es hablar dr Mireya Luis

    Reply
  70. nicee elle Posted on August 26, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    Missing leila barros..

    Reply
  71. Paola Gonzales Posted on August 27, 2019 at 12:41 am

    Tremendas jugadoras 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🇨🇺

    Reply
  72. Marilou Dulawan Posted on September 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Their uniform… Hahahahs

    Reply
  73. Jonan Santos Posted on September 4, 2019 at 3:04 am

    The LEGEND cuban volleybelles….

    Reply
  74. Oscar Olaya Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:12 am

    Dudo mucho que alguna selección en el mundo pueda superar tal hazaña, como lo que logró Cuba! Felicitaciones.

    Reply
  75. Like Station Posted on September 5, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Saklap sa russia. Sa finals pa sila natalo.. di nila nadala winning streak nila gang finalz.. sakit mga besh??

    Reply
  76. nhaye jhelobaek Posted on September 5, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    so much respect for this women… there legacy in the volleyball remains

    Reply
  77. Ramon E Matos R Posted on September 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    CUBA FUÉ,Y NO SERÁ,SIGAN SOÑANDO Y ADORANDO SUS DIOSES FALSOS. A JESUCRISTO A SU PADRE ETERNO SEA LA GLORIA.

    Reply
  78. Rdmmoya Moya Posted on September 10, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Las reynas del carive

    Reply
  79. Demerrill Spencer Posted on September 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Hello Beautiful ladies 💯😘

    Reply
  80. Alberto GH Posted on September 14, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Cuba el mejor equipo del mundo❤️💞

    Reply
  81. Alex Montero Posted on September 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    El boley cubano fue uno de los mas.grandes del mundo nadie absolutamente nadie podia pelearle

    Reply
  82. Tom Tom Posted on September 19, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I don't know what happened to Cuban volleyball but more than likely it's about politics and money. How can a top-ranked team lose their position so quickly? Players such as Leon, Leal and Atties should be playing for their home country imo. as well as being role models for the younger players. Having said this I still think Cuba has a good v-ball program just not as good as it could have been.

    Reply
  83. Dhaniel Brasil Posted on September 23, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Cuba sempre foi imponente no volley feminino no passado.. quanta saudade.

    Reply
  84. nibiru144 Posted on September 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Soberbia Yumika Ruiz era espectacular y ese equipo el mejor de la historia.
    Ese partido fue épico e inolvidable, lo increíble es que tenían a Mireya Luis como suplente de Yumilka con ese equipo ni Ruso ni nadie que no fuera Cuba podía campeonar.
    Y Yumilka quizás es la única jugadora en el mundo que podía reemplazar a Mireya Luis.

    Reply
  85. Layon Reis Reis Posted on September 27, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Adoro a Ruiz….assisti um jogo dela pela Cuba em Belém do Pará contra o Brasil e a Ruiz era estrela do jogo🤩

    Reply
  86. Pedro Jimenez Posted on September 28, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Yo soy dominicana u apollo las de aki pero esa yamilka ruiz hay que aserle el saludo. Para mi es la mejor del mundo tri canpeona

    Reply
  87. Ernesto Leyva Posted on September 29, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    EQUIPAZO ¡¡

    Reply
  88. Carlos Campos Posted on October 3, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Grande Cuba 🇨🇺, que viva Cuba.

    Reply
  89. hongkongsmartboy Posted on October 7, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Golden Ten Years of Cuban Women's Volleyball (1991-2000) <8 straight Major titles>:
    1991 FIVB World Cup
    1992 Barcelona Olympic Games
    1994 FIVB World Championship
    1995 FIVB World Cup
    1996 Atlanta Olympic Games
    1998 FIVB World Championship
    1999 FIVB World Cup in
    2000 Sydney Olympic Games

    Reply
  90. denisitele Posted on October 8, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    from the comments, i seem to be the only one who cares less about the volleyball and more about something else

    Reply
  91. Badge Badge Posted on October 13, 2019 at 6:46 am

    The best volleyball team ever in olympics… always rooting for Cuba back then.

    Reply
  92. swollenteeth Posted on October 15, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I remembered the great old days. They were great. My all time favourite team and always lingers in my head.

    Reply
  93. Luiz Henrique Moreira Soares Posted on October 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Grandíssimas 💙❤

    Reply
  94. Lis Crespo Posted on October 15, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Tan orgullosa de estas chicas cubanas…. gracias 😊

    Reply
  95. Michaela Tamio Posted on October 18, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    The same moment happened during the 2004 olympics.Russia won the 1st and 2nd set.But China came from behind and got the gold.

    Reply
  96. Josue. Verneque Da Silva Posted on October 19, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Foi uma das maiores equipes que vi jogar. Infelizmente o comunismo impede o desenvolvimento de ambas as partes de uma nação e chega ao esporte lamentável

    Reply
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