(TNS) As La Borinqueña, the Puerto Rican anthem, sounded at the Tokyo Olympics 100 meters hurdles victory ceremony on Monday, gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn teared up on the podium, wearing hoop earrings and a red Flor de Maga — Puerto Rico’s national flower — pinned to her hair.
The island’s flag fluttered above the athlete, whose victory represents Puerto Rico’s first gold medal and second-ever Olympic title altogether, following Monica Puig’s women’s singles tennis victory in 2016.
“It means a lot to represent such a small country,” said Camacho-Quinn following her triumph, a Puerto Rican flag draped from her shoulders. “This is giving younger kids hope.”
Puerto Ricans have commemorated Camacho-Quinn’s win as boricua excellence and a reason for hope after devastating natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. territory. That the lightning-fast Olympian is a Black woman raised in the Puerto Rican diaspora also showcases the multiplicity of meanings her win embodies. Many celebrating her victory say she is a trailblazer who is vaulting over hurdles both in society as well as on the field.
‘I run for Puerto Rico!’
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, 24, is the South Carolina-born child of a Puerto Rican mother and a Black father. Raised in an athletic family, Camacho-Quinn attended the University of Kentucky, where she was a three-time NCAA champion.