Running This

We Can’t Stop Talking About How This Latina Became The First American Woman To Win The Boston Marathon In Over Three Decades

Up against cold winds and rain, Desiree Linden (née Dávila) made history on Monday by becoming the first American Latina in history to win the Boston Marathon. The two-time Olympian powered through to the finish line with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 39 minutes, 54 seconds and a few moments that exuded Latina Power.

It’s been thirty-three years since an American woman won the Boston Marathon and Linden’s win marks a big-time first for Latinas.

Over four minutes ahead of her closest competitor, Linden braved a slew of harsh weather conditions as well as a rigorous course to win out amongst the marathon’s 29,978 participants. Back in 2011, the runner who is from California was only two seconds behind Kenyan winner Caroline Kilel.

The annual Boston-based marathon which has been around since 1897, only officially granted women the ability to participate in 1972. Up until that point, the marathon was a space primarily occupied by men and few women unofficially took part. In the years following the organization’s sanctioning of female runners, women from across the globe have competed. Still, the last time an American female runner broke the tape that stretches across the marathon’s finish line was in 1985 when Lisa Larsen Weidenbach completed it at a time of 2:34:06.

Linden’s accomplishment is a reminder of what today’s America really needs to see.

Latinas and Latinos have always had a huge part in our country’s success story. Still, in today’s political climate where our community consistently faces a barrage of attacks and is often shipped as a burden on American progress, there are various aspects of Linden’s run that we should be celebrating. Watching a Latina literally lead the country to victory isn’t just a sight for sore eyes, it’s a reminder of the fact that Latinas are vital to our country’s accomplishments.

There’s another aspect of Linden’s victory that should be aspiring not just for Latinas, but all women of today. Over an hour into the race, Linden took a surprising detour when she stopped running. Fellow American runner, Shalane Flanagan had left her leading position in the race to use a portable toilet and in a display of comradery, Linden deviated from her position to join Flanagan to ensure that they would return to the event together. In an interview with CNN, Linden said that by the time she had reached the race’s fourth mile she wasn’t uncertain of whether or not she would even make it to the finish line. “I told her in the race, I said, ‘You know, if there’s anything I can do to help you out, let me know because I might just drop out.’ When you work together, you never know what’s going to happen. Helping her helped me and kind of got my legs back from there.” The moment was undoubtedly a poignant example of the progress we can make if we remember to lend a hand to other women as we power our way to success.


Read: We Can’t Stop Talking About How This Latina Became The First American Woman To Win The Boston Marathon In Over Three Decades

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20 Latina Athletes To Watch At Next Year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

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20 Latina Athletes To Watch At Next Year’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Every two years, the best athletes in the world compete in the Winter or Summer Olympics. Just like the Olympics, the Paralympics is an international multi-sport event that also happens every two years. However, unlike the Olympics, athletes who compete in Paralympics do so with a range of disabilities. With limitations like vision impairment, intellectual impairment, loss of limb, impaired muscle movement and limited field of motion, these athletes prove that there’s no limit to who can be a champion.

The next games are nearly a year and a half away and will take place in Tokyo, Japan. Paralympians will come from all over the world to represent their countries in these games. Of course, from now until the games, these athletes will be doing some serious training to show out big time in Tokyo.

Besides contenders from Mexico and the United States, Central and South America have produced their fair share of medalists. From archery and track and field to basketball and fencing, Latina Paralympians represent their countries with pride.

Though the next games don’t take place until 2020, it’s never too early to start hyping up these amazing Latina Paralympians.

1. Natalie Bieule

Twitter / @NataB12

Florida mom of two, Bieule lost her left leg because of a car accident at the age of 18. A competitive dancer at the time, the Latina didn’t allow the loss to stop her from competing. With the help of her prosthetic, Bieule began her career as a discus thrower soon after her accident. After winning silver and gold in the 2014 and 2015 US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships, Bieule went on to compete in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

2. Martha Chavez

Joe Kusumoto Photography

A proud veteran of the United States Army, this Mexican born athlete suffered from polio as a small girl. Though she needed leg braces in childhood, Chavez recovered. However, she suffered an injury while in the military and it was made worse by her previous illness. Chavez’s leg weakness makes her dependent on her wheelchair but that hasn’t stopped her from putting her marksmanship skills to good use. The Latina competes in archery using her compound bow and is a two-time silver medalist.

3. Patty Cisneros

YouTube / Cordillera Digital

Three-time Paralympic athlete, Cisneros has been a big name in wheelchair basketball for nearly 20 years. Cisneros was rendered paralyzed in a car crash during her freshman year of college. In 2018, the Latina led the US Paralympics Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team to its second gold medal in the games. The one time ESPY nominee for Best Female Athlete with a Disability, Cisneros now coaches the University of Illinois’ Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team.

4. Andrea DeMello

Earl Wilson / The New York Times

In 1980, DeMello suffered a stroke that rendered her right side completely paralyzed. However, her sport of wheelchair fencing has actually helped in her recovery. An avid marathon runner, the fencer immigrated to the US from Brazil and joined the US Paralympic team. DeMello has participated in four Paralympic games and still travels the world competing in fencing competitions.

5. Christella Garcia

JudoInside.com

Born blind, Garcia has studied Judo since childhood. She started competitively training for the 2012 London Paralympic games in 2007 and hasn’t stopped since. The two-time Paralympian earned bronze in her sport during the 2016 Rio games. When she isn’t competing, Garcia works with local and national charities.

6. Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt

TeamUSA.org

Originally from Bogota, Mosquera-Schmidt is a one-time Paralympic athlete competing in track and field. As a blind woman, she is the American record holder for T11 women in the 1500, 3000, and 5000 meter and marathon distances. She’s also the world champion in Paratriathlon in the Sprint and Olympic distances. When she isn’t competing, Mosquera-Schmidt works as a motivational speaker.

7. Ilena Rodriguez

Tom Stormme / Tribune

Rodriguez grew up in Cuba, swimming in the waters off of Matanzas. When she was 13 she developed a rare spinal condition that rendered her unable to walk. However, Rodriguez learned that she could still swim and went on to competitively train. In 2008, the swimmer set the US record for the 200m breaststroke. The Latina later competed in the 2012 London games.

8. Terezinha Guilhermina

Emilio Morenatti / AP Photo

Representing her home country of Brazil, Guilhermina is one of the best sprinters in the Paralympics. The 39 year old runner holds the world records for 100m and 400m the T11 category — a classification for the most visually impaired athletes. She made her debut at the 2004 Athens games, winning the bronze. In the course of her training, Guilhermina has also trained with and ran alongside Olympian Usain Bolt.

9. Shirlene Coelho

Twitter / @AngelaMilanese

Track and field champion Coelho is a big deal in the Paralympic games. A three-time Paralympian, she competes in all three throwing events — the shot put, javelin, and discus.  The Brazilian native has earned two gold medals and two silver medals in her sports. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy that impairs her balance, Coelho set a new world record in her Javelin class during the 2018 Beijing games.

10. Yunidis Castillo

Twitter / @_yazminsita

A Paralympian track and field star, Castillo has brought several medals home for Cuba. Competing in track and long jump, the Cubana lost her arm at the age of 10 in a car accident. That obviously hasn’t slowed her down a bit. Castillo earned five gold medals combined in the 2008 Beijing games and the 2012 London games. She also won silver during her appearance at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

11. Amalia Pérez

Paralympic.org

A five-time Paralympic champion, the Mexicana is the definition of fuerte. Dependant on a wheelchair due to impaired muscle strength, Pérez is one of Mexico’s best known powerlifters. She’s won three gold medals in the Beijing, London, and Rio games and two silver in Sydney and Athens. Pérez is also the only powerlifter in the world to hold championships in three different divisions.

12. Omara Durand

Instagram / oncubanews

A visually impaired Cubana, Durand is a gold-worthy sprinter. The two-time Paralympian won an combined total of five gold medals in the Rio and London games. During her win in Rio, the Latina set a new world record in the 100m T13 event. All of these accomplishments earned her the title of Best Female Athlete at the 2016 Paralympic Awards.

13. Aline Rocha

Twitter / @flaviodilascio

When Rocha competed in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter games, she became the first Brazilian to ever join the Winter games. In 2006, a car crash resulted in paraplegia. She found the sport of cross country skiing after her injury. In 2018, she was named Best Female Para Cross-country Skier of the year by the Brazilian Confederation of Snow Sports. Rocha may have impressed the world with her fourth place preformance in Pyeongchang but she eager to show her growth at the 2022 Beijing games.

14. Yazmith Bataz

Twitter / @markopticmx

Three time Paralympian Bataz has been representing her home of Mexico since the 2004 Athens games. Due to the amputation of her legs, the Mexicana competes in track events with a wheelchair. In 2007, Bataz set a new Pan-American record in the 100m T54. In 2014, the champion received the Medal of Merit for a Person with Disabilities from the government of Baja California Sur — her home state.

15. Thiare Casarez

Wikipedia.com

A sprint and mid-distance runner, Casarez competes for her home country of Mexico. In 2013, she represented Mexico in the IPC Athletics World champions. There, the runner earned silver in both the 200m and 400m events. Casarez is training for the next Paralympics and hopes to represent Mexico again in 2020.

16. María de los Ángeles Ortiz

Alchetron.com

A three-time Paralympian, de los Angeles Ortiz has represented Mexico proudly in her sport of shot put. In 2004, she had to have a leg amputated after a car accident so she competes in a wheelchair. In her first appearance at the games, the Mexicana won a silver medal. Later, in the 2012 and 2016 games, she won a gold medal in both London and Rio. In 2011, de los Angeles Ortiz received Mexico’s National Sports Award.

17. Yanina Martinez

Paralympic.org

Martinez is a Paralympian from Argentina who represented her country in the 2016 games. Born with cerebral palsy, the runner experiences coordination issues. During Rio’s Paralympic events, Martinez earned gold on the women’s 100m dash. That year, she also won the Silver Olimpia Award for Best Para Athlete.

18. Maritza Arango Buitrago

Alchetron.com

Colombian racer Buitrago competes in the middle distance events in track and fields. In 2003, a rare degenerative eye disorder began to take her eyesight which led her into a deep depression. She decided to focus on athletics to get past the negativity she felt about her mental illness and blindness. She went on to represent her county in Rio where she would go on to win two bronze medals.

19. Martha Hernández

Twitter / @JulianPericoJr

Track and field star Hernádez has a visual impairment that renders her almost completely blind. Still, that hasn’t limited her success. In the 2015, she won silver in the shot put during the Parapan American Games. Though she still runs, she currently works at the Columbian Federation of Athletes with Cerebral Palsy.

20. Yeny Vergas

Disfusión

Though only training for three years before the event, Vargas is a natural born runner. The Peruvian lost her arm due to an accidental electrocution at 5 years-old. The now 21 years-old Paralympian represented Peru in the 2016 Rio game. Though her times didn’t qualify, her tenacity and drive to keep going is definitely an inspiration.


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Latinas Are Gearing Up To Run 2019: From Tessa Thompson’s Role in The New ‘MIB’ To J.Lo’s Skin Care Line, Here’s A Look

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Latinas Are Gearing Up To Run 2019: From Tessa Thompson’s Role in The New ‘MIB’ To J.Lo’s Skin Care Line, Here’s A Look

As 2018 inches toward its finale, we can’t help but look forward to the new year and get excited for all of the exciting and unpredictable things that 2019 has in store. Among the things we’re excited about is a newly-announced skincare line from the venerable Jennifer Lopez, which is set to be released in late 2019. But Lopez isn’t the only Latina that has exciting projects lined up in the new year. In fact, so far 2019 is shaping up to be a year chock full of Latina-Power so far. In addition to Lopez, we’ve rounded up some Latina-Power Projects to look forward to in the new year, starting with the ageless goddess herself.

Jennifer Lopez

@jlobrasil/Instagram.

In response to a question about her skincare routine during her promotional tour of Second Act, Lopez revealed that she “will be coming out with a skincare line” that she’s been “working [on] for a long time”. She further explained why she decided to release it after her makeup collection, saying, “I don’t want to put [just] anything out”. According to Lopez, she hopes the line “encompasses all of the things I’ve learned, all of the secrets I have”. And suddenly, 2019 can’t come fast enough.

Gina Rodriguez

@spanish_teacher_nyc/Instagram

There will be no escaping Gina Rodriguez in 2019–not that we’d want to. Not only will her action-thriller Miss Bala (a film with a 95 percent Latinx cast and crew) hit theaters in February, she will also be voicing the iconic Latina character Carmen San Diego in Netflix’s animated re-boot, set to premiere on January 18. And lest we forget, the fifth and final season of Jane the Virgin is rumored to be premiering in early 2019, officially making next year the property of Gina Rodriguez.

Cardi B

@iamcardib/Instagram.

Cardi B can’t–and won’t–slow down. Not only is she scheduled to make regular, showstopping appearances into 2019, but she’ll also be making money moves with her lucrative partnership with Reebook. It’s safe to assume that Cardi isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

Rita Moreno

@RitaMoreno/Instagram

As we announced before, Rita Moreno is set to appear in Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated remake of the beloved classic, Westside Story. According to Deadline, the actress will play an “expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store” from the original movie. According to Moreno, she is “tingling” over the opportunity to re-visit the story that made her a legend. She further stated: “Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work, and to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling!”. We can’t wait to see her back on the silver screen where she belongs.

Tessa Thompson

@meninblack/Instagram

Tessa Thompson isn’t letting some out-dated name of a movie stop her. In 2019, the talented Mexican-Panamanian actress will be starring in a “Men in Black” reboot with Chris Hemsworth. The fact that an Afro-Latina is headlining a movie that literally has “men” in the title is so refreshing–we can’t wait to see Thompson break down more barriers in 2019.

Isabela Moner

@isabelamoner/Instagram

As soon as we heard that a live-action version of “Dora the Explorer” would be coming to a theater near us, we couldn’t wait to see what Latina fabulosa would fill Dora’s little white tennis shoes. Luckily for us, we weren’t disappointed. Peruvian-American Nickelodeon star Isabela Moner was announced as the actress who had won the part among many. Moner stated that she was “excited and honored” to get to play the iconic character. “I grew up watching the show, and for me, especially as a Latina, Dora was an amazing role model”, she said. We can’t wait to catch Moner in theaters on August 22nd.

Valentina Garza

Youtube.

Yes, we’re sad that “Jane the Virgin” is coming to an end, but we can’t help but be excited about its recently-announced spinoff. And in even more exciting news, this time the show will be run by Cuban-American writer/producer Valentina Garza. This will mark the first time a Latina has been a showrunner of a CW show. No news yet on when the new anthology series will premiere, but either way, Garza will have her hands full with development and pre-production all of 2019.

Anjelah Johnson/America Ferrera/Emilia Serrano

@mexemilia/Twitter. @americaferrera/Instagram. @anjelahjohnson/Instagram.

In November, deadline announced that it was developing a sitcom called “All Fancy” that is starring Mexican-American comedian Anjelah Johnson, written by Mexican-American writer Emilia Serrano, and produced by Honduran-American actress, philanthropist and overall powerhouse America Ferrera. According to “Deadline”, the series will revolve around Johnson playing a “newly successful 30-something Mexican-American woman who often goes against cultural and social expectations”. Kudos for these Latina ladies making waves in Hollywood.

Gina Torres

@ginatorres/Instagram

Finally, Cuban-American actress Gina Torres is getting her day in the sun. After co-starring in “Suits” for six years, USA Network has given Torres her very own spinoff that is currently in production and set to premiere in 2019. According to Deadline, the series, entitled “Second City”, will center on Torres’s iconic character Jessica Pearson as she “enters the dirty world of Chicago politics”. It’s so rare that a Latina–let alone an Afro-Latina–has the chance to star in her own show, that we’re jumping up and down for joy because of this one. We know Torres will be her usual, mesmerizing self in this role.


Read: After A Judge Ordered Activist Ale Pablos’ Deportation, Thousands Sign Petition Urging Arizona Governor For A Pardon

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