HAVANA TIMES – More than five years ago, Melissa Teresa Vargas, the “child prodigy” of Cuban volleyball, was still in Cuba, in her hometown Cienfuegos. She was under a sanction from the Cuban Volleyball Federation that banned her from playing in any national or foreign competition for four years.
A punishment that condemned her – at the peak of her career – to rust outside a Taraflex court because the Board never knew how to guide her talent on the island.
In January 2018, the specialized magazine Volley Mob explained what no government-owned press had said: Melissa was missing from the Cuban team at competitions because the initial one-year sanction had been extended to another four. That is to say, the Federation took the liberty of punishing its star player for five years.
“Vargas has been suspended by the Cuban Volleyball Federation for the next four years. The ban extends to both national and international matches and is an extension of her previous one-year ban,” they confirmed.
The girl from Cienfuegos made her debut with the national team at just 13 years old and was selected “the best volleyball player” in Cuba 12 months later.
Her talent was obvious. Despite still being a child, she had to deal with the pressure of being the team’s star player, overusing her body combined with the poor material assistance that reigns at sport facilities across the island, whether the