Gold medalist Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn poses on the podium for the women’s 100m hurdles final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 2, 2021
She may have been born in South Carolina, but Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’s first ever track and field gold for Puerto Rico sparked wild celebrations in her mother’s homeland.
Camacho-Quinn, 24, won the women’s 100m hurdles in Tokyo, just the US territory’s second ever gold medal, after tennis player Monica Puig won at Rio 2016.
Her victory over Team USA hurdler Keni Harrison, and with it a new Olympic record, saw Puerto Ricans everywhere unite in celebration.
And she even got a congratulatory message on Instagram from reggaeton star Daddy Yankee.
“Congratulations on that gold medal. Thank you for representing our island so highly. Worthy representation!” wrote Daddy Yankee on Instagram.
Camacho-Quinn, whose brother Robert plays for the NFL’s Chicago Bears, said she was shocked to get the shout-out.
“Daddy Yankee posted me Do yall understand how that feels? Like wtffffff a legend,” she wrote on Twitter.
Puerto Rico, despite its status as a US territory, competes under its own flag at the Olympics,
The hurdler reaffirmed her commitment in 2017 to run for Puerto Rico, to honour her mother María Milagros Camacho.
“Again, I RUN FOR PUERTO RICO! NO I AM NOT SWITCHING TEAMS ! NO I DID NOT RUN AT USA TRIALS! I WILL CONTINUE TO RUN WITH PR ACROSS MY CHEST,” she said on social media.
“If I truly wanted to make that US team, trust me I’d be sure to make it. I don’t want to. I love running for PR & I love my supporters.”
And as she stood on the medal podium with the Caribbean islands national anthem “La Borinqueña” playing proudly, she even wore the national flower, the hibiscus, in her hair.
After receiving her gold medal, she spoke of her pride in winning it for the island.
“I am really happy right now. Anything is possible. Everybody out here trained really hard for this moment. I think honestly all of us, we all should be rewarded for this. We made it,” she said.
And her mother was, of course, equally proud of her daughter’s achievement, after watching it with friends and family at a restaurant in South Carolina.
“I can’t believe I have an Olympic champion daughter. A daughter with an Olympic record,” she told newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
“When you stay focused and do the work like you’re supposed to do, outside of distractions, you can achieve anything.”
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