Being a child he challenged his continuous asthma attacks through constant physical training. These two things would live with him forever. Due to his disease the doctor forbade him to do big efforts and when his father tried to make him follow the doctor’s advice, he received the following answer: “Dad, I like rugby, and even if I burst, I’ll keep on practicing it”. He tried other sports such as cycling and motorcycling. It is recalled that as a medical student he participated in the University Games of 1948, reaching 2.80 m. in pole vault.
He admired the car racer Juan Manuel Fangio. He also practiced shooting, fishing, skating, and horseback riding. In June 1952, he sailed along the Amazonas River after having travelled through different countries on motorcycle, with his friend Alberto Granados. In 1955, he got a job in Mexico as an editor and photographer of the Latin Agency. This would let him cover the Second Panamerican Sports Games that took place in that country, where he graduated as a mountain climber after climbing Popocatepelt Mount.
His passion for chess is remembered in Cuba . He was the main encourager of the Capablanca in Memoriam Tournament, where he witnessed numerous games. He took part in a championship that was organized when he was still our Minister of Industries. As early as 1962 he said that Cuba would have great masters and that would be a product of its Revolution. Three years later, the Island achieved that goal through Maestro Silvino Garcìa. Nowadays, other thirteen chess players have obtained the same category.
In spite of all the responsibilities that he had during the first five years after l959, he managed to go through football, golf, fishing as a sport, shooting, and even Cubans saw him playing baseball in the company of other leaders like Fidel, Raùl, and Camilo Cienfuegos.