Mónica Nos Revive

I don’t know if it is true , but I may have been one of the proudest Puerto Ricans around on Saturday August 13 as Monica Puig beat the 2nd ranked female tennis player in the world Angelique Kerber, winning the first ever Gold Medal for Puerto Rico, at the Olympics in Rio.
As Puerto Ricans we have had many successes in Sports, politics, arts and business, but this Saturday was special when this young dynamic player carrying the torch of said proud country showed up not only to play but also gave it her all to come and win the most prestigious medal in PR Olympic history.
The resilience that Monica exhibited in these few days of the Olympics, not only showed her talent and where such talent can take you, but also reunited a country where bad news has been the norm especially in the economic situation the country is going through.
Locally it was one of the hottest days of the year and I would have preferred to be at one of the beautiful beaches of my island, but I decided to go to the beach here where the water is not as delectable as those waters of the Caribbean. Even though, I did tell my wife I will find a place to watch this match.
It was amazing to see that even though Monica is slowly rising in the rankings in the tennis world, little by little she became a crowd favorite. There were a few pockets of those who went to see her and cheer her on in Rio. Those pockets were carrying the island with them as they flew the flag strong, screaming “Si se puede” and exhibiting the patriotism as if there were thousands in the crowd on every point won by Monica. This was an uncommon scene especially in tennis the announcers noted.
The announcers also mentioned how Monica’s performance had completely shut down Puerto Rico school’s all week, and Saturday during the final match not a soul could be seen on the streets of San Juan. A testament to the power this moment meant to all.
Puerto Rico has been going through very tough times economically where it can become quite difficult for some families to obtain food, pay their electricity when available, and housing. Jobs are scarcer as the island’s unemployment rate hovers between 11-12 percent, with the minimum wage at $7.25.
The island which has been in a recession since 2006 and isn’t generating enough income, and with $18,660 median household income there is much less spending power, to make thing worse, just recently the sales tax was raised to 11.5 percent.
With this said the resilience that Monica exhibited is what we as a people need to exhibit from here and on the island, these small moments are what fill us a Puerto Ricans and makes it necessary and an obligation to help and move our island forward.
I believe that we can help how minimal it may be from a far. On the mainland there are many Puerto Ricans that I feel can make a small difference. Next time you plan a vacation consider going to the island and assist the economy, educate yourself if you have never been there, visit family you have not seen for so long or just take time to go.
We are a proud people from a beautiful island with beautiful people and Monica once again brought the best of this in all of us as Puerto Ricans. Be proud, persevere and as Monica exhibited your dreams can come true. Gracias Mónica y Que Viva Puerto Rico…

Lenny Colón (lcolonjr@comcast.net)

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