He had to work hard to save money and get donations from friends and family (along with a small stipend from the government), to attend the event in St. Louis, MO. He took a boat to New Orleans on his way to St. Louis and was robbed when he got there. He pretty much lost everything but the ...clothes on his back. He walked, ran, and hitchhiked hundreds of miles to get to the Olympics.
He arrived just in time to check in and the organizers helped him cut his pants so he could turn them into running shorts but they didn't have any tennis shoes so he had to use the heavy dress shoes he was wearing. After everything he went through including not eating or sleeping for a few days, Felix barely missed winning the bronze. If he was an American athlete he would've been on a Wheaties box. Cuba didn't get a medal but they should've been very proud.