'I congratulate you, I hail you and I embrace you in the name of the people,' an emotional President told the athletes during a reception at the Palace of the Revolution, headquarters of the ruling Cuban Communist Party.
Cuba crowned its return to the Olympic arena after a 12-year absence by winning 31 medals, 14 of them gold; it was the country's best-ever performance. Cuba boycotted the Games in Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988 for political reasons.
President Castro told the Cuban Olympic team: 'I was impressed by your patriotic and revolutionary spirit.'
Cuba finished fifth behind the Commonwealth of Independent States, the United States, Germany and China. It was the best- placed Latin American country, ahead of Brazil which came 25th.Reuse content