Exclusive: Olympic Gold Medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn Talks About the Spirit of the 200 Percent
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn's identity has been a highly discussed topic.
The Olympic gold medalist proudly represented Puerto Rico at this year's Olympics in Tokyo, where she received the highest honor in the women's track and field 100-meter hurdles competition. She also sparked controversy for being a U.S.-born athlete who represented her mother's homeland.
Camacho-Quinn was born in South Carolina to an African American father and a Puerto Rican mother from Trujillo Alto. She grew up experiencing and embracing both cultural identities.
"Growing up experiencing two different cultures is exactly why I embody the Spirit of the 200% – it's in the foods I eat, the traditions, the music I listen to. Although I was born in the U.S., I am proud of my Puerto Rican and American roots, and I am proud to represent them both," she tells Chica. "My mother made sure we knew who we were and always had me and my brothers embrace our Puerto Rican side. I cannot thank her enough for helping me embrace my cultural duality. And that is why I so proudly represent Puerto Rico in my professional career."
The athlete recently joined Buchanan's Scotch Whisky to launch "We are the Spirit of the 200%," a campaign that celebrates the unique duality of the Hispanic American experience as 100 percent American and 100 percent Hispanic.
"I identify myself as a Black-Puerto Rican. Because that is who I am. Whether born in America or in Puerto Rico, I will still remain an American. It means a lot to be part of the Buchanan's 200 percenters because it brings me comfort," she says. "I see that I am not the only one, so being able to share my story while embracing both my cultures... that makes me want to help others come forward and be even more comfortable in their own skin."
The 25-year-old's historic win this summer filled Puerto Ricans with immense pride; even reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee congratulated her on his Instagram account.
"Daddy Yankee posting me made my day. I did not know he posted me until my brother Miguel called me. Everyone knows Daddy Yankee no matter where you're from, so to have a legend like him post me and congratulate me meant so much," she says. "It is just a heartwarming feeling. He is a Latino who has made a name for himself in the U.S. as well as in Puerto Rico, and I admire that."
As for her future on the track, Camacho-Quinn sees nothing but opportunities up ahead.
"My future plans for 2022 is winning another gold at World Championships, hosted in Eugene, Oregon," she says. "I'm also looking forward to breaking the world record. I'm hoping to compete at two more Olympics in the future."