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.

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

  1. 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..

  2. 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.

  3. 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 💓

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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 🇵🇷

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. ตัดภาพมาตอนนี้ เนชั่นลีคยังตกชั้น

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

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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..

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

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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

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

  33. 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

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