Amidst an era of troubles, the small nation island of Puerto Rico succeeds in earning the first gold Olympic medal in its history.
On August 13, 4 p.m. eastern time, 22-year-old Monica Puig shocked audiences around the world by winning gold in Rio’s Women’s Individual Tennis division. Not only was Monica Puig the first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic medal, but she was also the first person in Olympic History to win a gold medal for Puerto Rico. Monica Puig, ranked number 33 in the world, was the lowest ranked athlete competing for gold in this category --- she had all of Puerto Rico on its toes as she competed fiercely through a pool of players which included famous names such as Venus Williams and Petra Kvitová. Her final match was against Angelique Kerber, ranked second in the world. Monica Puig managed to pull out an amazing victory, winning the final set by five games.
For the small nation island, Monica Puig was Puerto Rico’s primary hope for gold. The spirit of patriotism and hope Monica Puig caused was shared throughout all of Puerto Rico, no matter the age, gender, hometown, or political party of its citizens.
It seems as if Monica Puig is a light of hope for Puerto Rico: a true representation of hard work, discipline, and raw talent, and a symbol of the successful youth of Puerto Rico that is striving to make its mark and prove its worth. During such a controversial time in Puerto Rico’s history, amongst staggering debt and a massive brain drain, who would have thought that Tennis, of all things, would be the perfect unifying force for Puerto Rico’s 3 million citizens? For Puerto Rico, a gold medal in the Olympics signifies a hope for progress, prosperity, and a brighter future.