Saturday, August 13, 2016

Highlight of my olympics: Monica Puig

I LOVE the Olympics. And I LOVE to watch tennis. We don't have TV, and I don't watch sports much at all anymore, but getting to watch tennis in the olympics is incredible to me. Then add a story like this and very good friends who are Puerto Ricans, and I was absolutely smitten.

No Puerto Rican woman had ever won a medal in the olympics. And no Puerto Rican male or female has ever won a gold! So to see a Puerto Rican woman win a gold medal was absolutely amazing.


Even better, check out my friends Yamil and Patty (and their little cutie pie Troy) watching the last point. This is the first time they have ever heard their National Anthem being played at the Olympics. How amazing is that?!

And here is me showing my excitement:

I "watched" the whole match on the computer with Patty via text. We chatted through the whole match as if we were in the same living room together. It was SOOOOOO fun!

I am giddy and proud to be a Puerto Rican. Okay. Maybe not. But still. I'm proud to be friends with Peurto Ricans tonight. 


Myopinions said...

I watched the match and I applaud and congratulate her win. I have no problem with Monica at all. I do not agree though that she gets to compete for a country she was not raised in or does not live in. Didn't attend school as a child there either as far as I know. That is a loop hole many athletes use, i get it. I was also disappointed not to hear her acknowledge the people she represented in Spanish language. Even though we are living in colonialism, our native language is Spanish. She does not represent Puerto Rico., this was just the fastest way to Gold. Great athlete, great accomplishment, just my opinion.

TAV said...

The Olympics is so full of crazy stories and upsets. I'm so addicted! I didn't watch the tennis but hope Del Potro wins!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

MyOpinions, I respect what you are saying but this is not unique to Puig. Athletes must choose to represent the country of birth or upbringing many, many times. This happens very frequently. I also disagree that this is the fastest way to gold. She has to WIN no matter what country she represents and she very well could have earned a spot on the US team as well.

Patty PB said...

As I'm sure you are aware, the politics (and opinions) regarding our Island and its people's identity are as diverse as we are ourselves.
However, the facts remains that the IOC has recognized the sovereignty of the Puertorrican Delegation since the first time they went to the Olympics in 1948. After many complications (and obstacles), it was finally agreed that any athlete born in the Island could choose to Represent either the US, or PR. Since then, many athletes from different countries have followed suit, and decided to represent, either their country of birth, or the one they live and train in. (Jaime Espinal is an example of the latter, while Brianne and Ashton Eaton, a married couple, going to school, training, and living in the US, each chose to represent their country of birth: Canada and US.)
Obviously our position is different: our identity as a people has always (unfortunately), fallen second to our political status: are we US? Are we a Colony? Are we a Country? That particular situation is difficult, and we will all have our difference in opinions, which I believe is part of our identity as well. That being said, to say that Monica representing PR was 'the fastest way to gold' is a misrepresentation of both, the sport, and the process. This statement has frequently been used against 'Gigi Fernandez's decision to represent the US in the 90's. However, Gigi and Mary-Jo were ranked #4 in the World in Doubles at the time of the 92 Olympics. There was nobody else ranked in the Top 100 in PR, and Gigi would have probably never won gold had she chosen to represent PR. HOWEVER, Monica Puig was unseeded, and ranked #34 in the World. Not only did she beat 2 of the Top 5 players in the world this week, but she won the Gold while playing on the same bracket as Serena Williams. There is NO way she could have EVER imagined this was going to happen, when she chose to represent PR in the Olympics months ago. Might have been easier to make a team, but NEVER to win. Truth is, she played exceptionally great Tennis, and this week in Rio, she was the best in the world.
And as for her speaking English, she was interviewed by NBC Olympic reporters after the win, (reporters who don't speak Spanish.) After her win with Kvitova 2 days ago, however, she gave a brief interview to Telemundo in perfect Spanish, as they were rushing her from the stadium into the bus, for everything else athletes need to do after a match. (Doping tests, media runs, cool downs, etc.)
All I want to add (because this is way too long already) is that the fact that she chose to represent us, and then gave us the gold, should be enough, but I understand if it feels different for some. She may not represent you, if you do not wish so, (and you're well within your right), pero cuando la Borinqueña suena en un estadio Olímpico, a quien no se le hincha el pecho? 💖