Destination: Olympics

In 1948, Puerto Rico sent their first group of athletes to the Olympic Games. Every year since then, proud athletes have carried the Puerto Rican flag in their hearts, to deliver their best performances for their country.

One sport in particular that has made a name for Puerto Rico at the Olympics is boxing. Bringing home no less than six medals, boxing is considered to be the most successful sport represented by Puerto Rico at the Olympic Games. There many dreams and goals which Puerto Rican boxers are working towards, in the spirit and determination of athletes such as McJoe Arroyo. Nowhere else in Puerto Rico, could one find more patriotic athletes, than in the boxing gym. Here, athletes dream of competing and representing their country and their flag. Many hopes have been pinned on McJoe Arroyo for the 2008 Olympics, an event for which both he and his brother, McWilliams, have qualified.

McJoe Arroyo was born on 5 December 1985, and at the age of twenty two and weighing in at a hundred and nineteen pounds, Arroyo fights as a bantam weight contender. At the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships, he won a bronze medal, after winning a bronze at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games. He qualified for the Olympic Games, by making it through to the semi finals of the 2007 World Champs, after narrowly losing to Sergey Vodopynov.

One topic of discussion and question is the fact that as Puerto Rico is a part of the United States commonwealth, and some would say that Arroyo is therefore half American and half Puerto Rican. But that is not the case with McJoe Arroyo. He will tell you, that he fights under the Puerto Rican flag and that is who he is, a full blooded Puerto Rican. Politicians might bicker and fight in regard to the Puerto Rican flag, but every athlete is proud to represent their country and one of their most memorable moments came in the 2004 Olympics, when the Puerto Rican basketball team, brought the United States dream team to their knees.

Every Puerto Rican athlete craves the freedom to achieve their full potential, and to do it under the colors of the flag of Puerto Rico. Their independence and victories as Puerto Ricans, is extremely important to them. And as the red and white striped flag, with its blue triangle to the left and one white star, is hoisted onto a flag post, athletes stop and stare, with pride, determination and dreams of great achievements at the Olympic Games.