Oscar Periche Cardet

Oscar Periche Cardet . Glory of Cuban sport . Retired athlete. Known as El pulpo , he was a goalkeeper for the Cuban national water polo team . He is the only Cuban participant in four Olympic Games and included in the Hall of Fame of this Sport in Cuba, according to the International Federation of Aquatic Sports (FINA).

Periche was for the national team the unstoppable goalkeeper, the cornerstone, the perfect guide for the attack towards the rival goal, the man of respect capable of bringing everyone together. He was the main goalkeeper of the Cuban team for 16 years. He participated in four Olympic Games , as well as in 100 international tournaments and almost 500 matches at that level he was captain of the Cuba team.


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  • 1 Biographical summary
    • 1 Sports career
    • 2 First international matches
    • 3 Other international events
  • 2 Merits and distinctions
  • 3 Main official international events
    • 1 Olympics
    • 2 World Championships
    • 3 FINA Cups
    • 4 Universiade
    • 5 Pan American Games
    • 6 Central American and Caribbean Games
  • 4 Farewell to active sport
  • 5 Other aspects of his life
  • 6 external links
  • 7 Fuente

biographical synthesis

He was born on October 31, 1949 in Gibara , Holguín , Cuba . His childhood is spent in times, because his family was very poor, having to help his father in masonry work, selling newspapers, milk , coal and clams , which tempered his physique and character. The primary studies were carried out at the Camilo Cienfuegos school and the secondary ones at the Atanagildo Cajigal Torres .

His favorite sports were volleyball , track and field , basketball and baseball , which he practiced as a teenager. In 1965 he joined the Eastern volleyball team that won the bronze medal in the tournament of the III National School Games (under 16 category).

Someone told him that he could be a good polo player, because he had big hands and long arms, hearing this advice, he began to train and years later he managed to become a great athlete.

sports career

Teo Arguelles was the first sports coach , who from the beginning placed him in goal, he was also helped by Rodolfo Ruíz from Gibar and then Bartolomé Scavnisky from the Czech Republic .

A second category provincial fight that the Gibara municipality team won was with Oscar’s debut in an official competition 30 days after starting in that sport, and he attended the corresponding national competition.

Six months after starting in polo, he was already part of the national pre-selection, by then eight goalkeepers appeared for a test called, in which the man who would have the responsibility of defending the goal of the Cuba team would be chosen.

Periche was the last to submit to the rigor of a demanding commission of technicians and the only one to pass the important exam, as journalist Reynaldo López wrote in the Newspaper Now, on January 4 , 1992 .

First international matches

In 1967 he took part in his first international match, in the swimming pool of the Ciudad Deportiva de La Habana , then he was in the Esperanzas Olímpicas contest where he was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the competition, in the USSR in 1967.

It was an octopus, its arms looked like tentacles! Without meaning to, they baptized him for posterity. From now on it would be El octopus del Polo Acuático, El octopus del Caribe, El octopus Periche.

His colossal performance together with a good job by the whole team made it possible for Cuba to obtain a meritorious eighth place in his Olympic debut in water polo.

In 1968 , Oscar Periche was nominated as the Rookie of the Year in Cuban sports, and his team as the best in the country.

Other international events

At the Central American and Caribbean Games in Panama in 1970 , he only allowed one goal the entire contest, which was a record. He participated in four Pan American Games and four Central American and Caribbean Games and 4 Olympic Games .

Merits and distinctions

His rise as a goalkeeper led him to the Hall of Fame or Hall of Fame of FINA ( International Federation of Aquatic Sports ), in 1976 , the year in which he received the diploma and button accrediting the high distinction. He only shared that honor in the world with two other polo players Rantko Rudio from Yugoslavia and Eric Lindroth from the United States . The coach of the Cuba Team, Karoly Laky , stated:

“Periche is one of the most complete players the national team has had.”

He was in the group of young Cuban athletes that was selected as part of the Cuban delegation to the XI World Festival of Youth and Students held in Cuba in 1978 . Recognized as the athlete of the year in the province of Holguín in 1982 ; he was listed among the top 10 in that territory.

Main official international events

Olympic Games

  • Mexico City – 1968 (eighth)
  • Munich – 1972 (noveno)
  • Montreal – 1976 (7th)
  • Moscow – 1980 (fifth)

World Championships

  • Belgrade – 1973 (6th)
  • Cali – 1975 (fourth)
  • West Berlin – 1978 (10th)
  • Guayaquil – 1982 (fifth)

FINE cups

  • Long Beach – 1981- (bronce)
  • California – 1983 – (7th)


  • Moscow – 1973 (Silver)
  • Sofia – 1977 (9th)

Panamerican Games

  • Cali – 1971 (paid)
  • Mexico City – 1975 (bronze)
  • Saint John – 1979 (Silver)
  • Caracas – 1983 (silver)

Central American and Caribbean Games

  • Panama City – 1970 (gold)
  • Santo Domingo – 1974 (gold)
  • Medellin – 1978 (gold)
  • Havana – 1982 (gold)

Farewell to active sport

Oscar Periche

On Saturday , November 10, 1984, the people of Holguín said goodbye to Oscar Periche from active sports with numerous recognitions in a ceremony held at the Calixto García Stadium , on the occasion of the opening day in Holguín of the XXIV National Baseball Series , days later in his homeland native, Gibara , carried out various activities in his honor.

Other aspects of your life

He lives in Havana and has two children. He does not forget his province or his native Gibara, where he is always remembered as The octopus of the Caribbean . In the year 2000 he was distinguished among the 15 athletes of the 20th century in the province of Holguín.

He participated in a technical collaboration in Mexico from 2006 to 2010 , as a sports coach , at different levels.


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