This is Peter, from Havana, Cuba. I met him at the decaying Estadio Panamericano, about 10 minutes outside of Havana. The stadium, which is rather immense in scale has been closed for quite some time although there are a few people who still use it for training. A functional ruin. Upon climbing the steps to an upper level the exploration began. Peter emerged from what used to be the stadiums weight training area where he had converted its dismal interior to a sleeping area. Although communication was limited due to the language barrier he figured that my friend and I wanted to view the stadium track area. Removing several pieces of steel and chains from a prison-like door we emerged into the light once again. The entire scene reminded me of the Walking Dead or some other zombie apocalypse film! Peter later explained as best he could that he used to train athletes for both the Olympics and Pan American Games. Later he showed us several photos of him with Fidel Castro from years earlier.
It amazes me, the life that he has created for himself, inside this aging ruin of a once proud athletic history. It’s too bad the government hasn’t maintained this structure for future generations of Cubans to use and enjoy.
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