Cuban sport is in mourning: the legendary Ronaldo Veitía, the best coach in the history of Cuban judo, has passed away. The information was confirmed by the Panamerican Judo Confederation. One of the famous coaches of our discipline, the Cuban Ronaldo Veitia, seventy-five years old, has passed away. Ronaldo was hospitalised in August in Alicante (Spain) where his son lives. Ronaldo was the victim of a cardiovascular accident which plunged him into a coma, of which he has just came out in August and he wwent back to Havana in October.
“With deep sadness, we regret the sensitive passing of our beloved master, Mr. Ronaldo Veitia Valdivié, former coach of the Cuban national team,” the organisation published.
Ronaldo coached his team at six Olympic Games from 1992 to 2012 and obtained 5 gold, 9 silver and 10 bronze medals. This made him the coach with the largest amount of Olympic Medals in the history of Judo. In 30 years he earned 308 international medals for Judo. Ronaldo was inducted into the IJF Hall of Fame in 2018.
Born in 1947, he was promoted to head coach of the women’s national team in 1986 and gradually revolutionised the team’s working methods, which gave him historic results in the foreign arena. In the sixties and seventies he was a judoka himself and captured the Cuban judo title as well as numerous medals at national and regional championships.
His main achievements include first place for Cuba in the medal ranking at the 2000 Sydney Olympics; the top spot at the world championships in Chiba, Japan (1995), and Cairo, Egypt (2008); the highest place at the world junior championships in Dijon, France (1990), and the crown at the world team tournament in Minsk, Belarus (1998).
Dozens of Cuban judoka owe much of their exploits to the capital city native, who officially retired in January 2016, during the Havana Judo Grand Prix.