Tokyo Olympics

Who Is Hurdles Champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn — And Why Is She Competing for Puerto Rico?

The two-time Olympian — and now Olympic gold medal winner and Olympic record holder — was born in Charleston, South Carolina, but competes for Puerto Rico because her mother was born there

Scroll Down to see her race highlights

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Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the gold medal in the women's 100m hurdles running for Puerto Rico, one race after she set the Olympic record for the event in the semifinals.

Her time of 12.37 in the finals was fast enough to put her on top of the podium. That was just slightly behind her semifinals time of 12.26, which smashed the previous record time set by Australia's Sally Pearson in 2012. She set the record of 12.35 when she won gold at the London Olympics nearly a decade ago.

Camacho-Quinn and Team USA's Kendra Harrison were considered the favorites heading into the finals, and the U.S. has dominated the race recently. Team USA swept the medals in the event in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and had won eight of 12 medals since 2004.

So who is Jasmine Camacho-Quinn? The two-time Olympian was born in Charleston, South Carolina, where both her parents competed in track and field events at Baptist College, now called Charleston Southern University. Her mother, María Milagros Camacho, was a sprinter and a long jumper, while her father, James Quinn, similarly competed in hurdles.

The 24-year-old is also the sister of Chicago Bears linebacker Robert Quinn. Entering the Olympics, she was undefeated in the 100m hurdles in 2021, and had run the best time in the event this year as well.

So why is she competing for Puerto Rico — and why is the island not competing as part of Team USA?

Camacho-Quinn's mother was born in Puerto Rico, which makes her eligible to compete for the island. Even though she is not from Puerto Rico, the track star has plenty of support from notable Puerto Rican and Latinx people — everyone from NYC politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former mayoral candidate Dianne Morales cheered Camacho-Quinn on and celebrated her win, including Puerto Rican superstar Daddy Yankee.

Camacho-Quinn shared how excited she was to get all the support — but especially from Daddy Yankee. Her win was also cheered from the air, as video from social media showed a plane full of people watching and cheering as she won.

As for why the American territory doesn't compete under Team USA, that falls onto the jurisdiction of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC considers Puerto Rico a country for purposes of competition in the Olympics.

This was Puerto Rico's first medal of the Tokyo Games and only the 10th medal ever for the Caribbean island. Camacho-Quinn won just the second-ever gold medal for Puerto Rico, and it's first in a track event.

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