No America, You can’t claim Monica Puig’s Puerto Rico gold medal win as your own
Lynnette Cantos
20333

Nicely written piece. I do get the confusion though. Folks are mixing politics and sports. Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898, American citizens since 1917, and a commonwealth since 1952. In one arena we serve valiantly in the US Armed Forces, while being unable to vote for Congress and the President, unless we move to the mainland. In the other, we have our own olympic commitee, but if the US Olympic Comitee wants any of our athletes, that athlete can choose between both teams. Basketball superstar Carmelo Anthony chose Team USA, just before entering college. Island born ‘Butch’ Lee played for Puerto Rico after being discarded by Team USA, and scored 35 points, and almost beat them in Montreal ’76 with Neftali Rivera’s help (he scored 26). He later won the NCAA championship for Marquette. Tennis player Gigi Fernandez started in Team Puerto Rico when she was 15, then moved to Team USA to be able to qualify and win a couple of gold medals in doubles, when she couldn’t find a strong partner in the island. If the island ever sheds it’s colonial veil, and becomes a state, things would get pretty interesting, because olympic commitees are private entities, that are not tied up with governments.

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