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Puerto Rico Not A Nation… How Can Puerto Rico Have Its Own Olympics Team?… Sight For Sore Losers… Big Win Makes Some Proud

Puerto Rico Not A Nation

August 20, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Deseret Morning News. All rights reserved.

Enough already. The Aug. 14 Deseret Morning News blared the lead headline "Arroyo totes hopes of a nation." The story by Tim Buckley is but one of several constantly referring to Puerto Rico as a nation. 'Scuse me? Last I heard, and I lived there for some years, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth territory of the United States.

That it is allowed to participate in the Olympics under its own flag is just as much of a wonder. That the Puerto Rican team kicked the heck out of the spoiled rich boys on the "Dream Team" is wonderful, though, as your editorial stated. But, once again, even the editorial writer fell into that sinkhole and called it the "Puerto Rico national team."

V. N. Kovalenko

How Can Puerto Rico Have Its Own Olympics Team?

SAM The Straight Answer Ma'am

August 20, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Piedmont Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

Winston-Salem Journal

Q. How can Puerto Rico have its own Olympics team? Isn't it part of the United States? - A.F.

A. Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. As such, the island country enjoys a certain degree of independence. Puerto Rico is allowed to send its own teams to the Olympic Games, and its basketball team is allowed to beat the baggy shorts of another team.

Puerto Rico competes separately from the United States in Miss Universe, too.

Being of the United States but not "in" the United States has advantages and disadvantages.

Puerto Rican natives are U.S. citizens. Puerto Ricans have served in the U.S.military since World War I. But they don't pay federal income taxes, vote for the U.S. president or elect voting members of Congress.

As a commonwealth, Puerto Rico is ultimately controlled by Congress. Puerto Rico elects its own governor. (That hasn't always been the case. The governor was appointed by the U.S. president until the 1940s.)

Residents have sharply divided opinions on whether the country should aspire to full statehood in the U.S., become independent or retain its status as a commonwealth.

Puerto Rico's participation in sports is a source of pride for its citizens. Puerto Rico has sent teams to 15 Olympics.

"The Puerto Ricans had carried the U.S. flag into the 1948 Games, their first Olympic participation. The United States protested, claiming that two countries could not use the same flag at the same time. The decree of Commonwealth on July 25, 1952, gave the Puerto Rican delegation a flag of its own," Gabrielle Paese wrote in a story in the Puerto Rico Herald.

Any medals won during the 2004 Olympics will be added to the six medals that Puerto Rico has won in previous Olympics, all in boxing.

Sight For Sore Losers

August 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 THE NEW YORK TIMES. All rights reserved.

To the Sports Editor:

My 11-year-old daughter had been rooting for the United States players since the start of the Games. When they played Puerto Rico in basketball, she sided with her mother's and father's and her other culture. So, she celebrated the triumph of Puerto Rico, the 3-pointers, the exploitation of the United States team's weaknesses, the good zone defense.

Looking forward to feeling some pride and honor, we waited for additional news coverage. But we would have to look to the Spanish news media and to foreign Web sites for that. The real stars were the losers and how they gave away the game. My daughter was disappointed at such sore losers, who couldn't even celebrate the good day of a team also composed of American citizens.

Julio Marzán
Little Neck, Queens

Puerto Rico's Big Win Makes Some Proud

August 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

I was shocked with excitement when Puerto Rico beat the United States in basketball at the Olympics. Where did Puerto Rico get so many players who know how to play basketball in 2004? Puerto Rico is known for its music. Thank you, Puerto Rico.

Charles Sano
West Sacramento

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