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PUERTO RICO –Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico caused an upset in the women’s 100-meter hurdles when she beat Americas’ Keni Harrison and clinch the gold medal for her efforts.
“I just won a gold medal! I did it,” she tweeted.
Camacho-Quinn finished in 12.37 seconds beating world-record holder Harrison. Jamaica’s Megan Tapper took bronze.
But you can’t please everyone.
Tennis player Gigi Fernández, Puerto Rican’s most decorated Olympian, questioned just how Puerto Rican Camacho-Quinn’s was.
“And is she Puerto Rican?” Fernández wrote in Spanish. “Does she speak Spanish? Was she raised in Puerto Rico? Hhmm. How curious.”
Social media is accusing the Olympic champion of being “racist” and of colorism. On Twitter, Camacho-Quinn supporters queried how Fernández could make such statements when she previously congratulated Naomi Osaka on her decision to represent Japan.
“Gigi Fernandez, we already have two Puerto Ricans from the United States who have brought a gold medal to Puerto Rico. And instead of rejoicing, what you do is show how bitten and resentful you are since those two young people did what you refused to do, represent Flag of Puerto Rico,” somebody tweeted in Spanish in response to her remarks.
Needless to say, Camacho-Quinn’s fans humbled the Puerto Rican-born athelete.
Camacho-Quinn is yet to acknowledge the hate.
“I’m pretty sure everybody’s excited,” Camacho-Quinn said after the race. “Just to put on for such a small country, to give little kids hope. I’m just glad I’m the person to do that. I’m pretty happy with that.”
María Milagros Camacho, her mother, watched from a South Carolina restaurant late Sunday night as her daughter secured the medal.
“I can’t believe I have an Olympic champion daughter. A daughter with an Olympic record. When you stay focused and do the work like you’re supposed to do, outside of distractions, you can achieve anything,” she told Puerto Rican newspaper, El Nuevo Día.
Speaking to Reuters, she revealed that she almost fell during the race.
“I was really running for the record, I hit the hurdle — but everything happens for a reason,” she said. “I crossed the line like, ‘wait — I just won!'”
Camacho-Quinn is the sister of NFL player Robert Camacho-Quinn. She says she hopes her win can inspire young athletes in her mother’s home country.
The gold medalist won three NCAA championships at the University of Kentucky. Camacho-Quinn could have to run for the United States but instead for Puerto Rico ahead of the 2016 Games. A tribute to her loving mother.
Camacho-Quinn failed to qualify for the final at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — but just five years later, she is the pride of her country — and unfortunately, a tiny minority of folks are in their feelings about it.