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black excellence

Black Puerto Rican excellence ! Juan Gualberto Luyanda Fernández was born in Cataño, Puerto Rico on July 12, 1908. The most outstanding Puerto Rican athlete that athletics has given in Puerto Rico. So forgotten that there is not a street, school or place that bears his name in Cataño and in all of Puerto Rico.

He participated, for the first time at an international level, in the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador in 1935, then in Panama 1938, and Guatemala 1950. He won 3 gold medals, one silver and two bronze in high jump, jump along, pentalon and disk. For 35 years (1937-1972) he held the national high jump record (6 feet 7 inches) falling just 2 inches short of the world record. Juan Gualberto grew up in Puerta de Tierra where his parents who worked on the San Juan docks moved. He studied at the José Celso Barbosa schools and at the Central Superior School of Santurce. His first gold medal was in the high jump event in El Salvador 1935. In an anecdote in 1938 when they were preparing to leave for the games in Panama, sportswriter Emilio E. Huyke asked him how much money he was going to Panama, Juan Gualberto took out of his pocket a coin of 10 cents and a fleece. Then the journalists and people present made an impromptu collection of several tens of dollars for Juan Gualberto. In Panama, Juan Gualberto won four medals, 2 gold in the high jump and long jump, one silver in the triple jump and one bronze in the pentacle. Being the most outstanding athlete in athletics at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Panama in 1938. He entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1939 with a sports scholarship and then Lincoln University in 1942. Due to economic problems he left the university and entered the United States Army in 1946. After a 12-year retirement, he participated in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala in 1950 where he won the bronze medal in discus. He immigrated to New York in the 1960s where he died on October 16, 1980. -HISTORY OF BORIKEN

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