Fierce

This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human

At 12, Blanca Ramirez broke a global marathon record. At 16, she’s running to top her only competition: herself.

In 2015, The La Puenta, Calif.-based teen became the youngest female runner to complete seven marathons in seven different continents, running in Rwanda, New Zealand, Paraguay, China, France and Antarctica.

Her interest in international marathons started when she was 10 years old. She had just completed a long-distance running race in Disneyland and was hungry for more. She told her dad she wanted to beat the world record, but he thought she was joking at first.

“It seemed like it was something impossible,” her father Dimas Ramirez told NBC News. “I told her to prove to me she could run a marathon. She ran a 5K, then a 10K and-a-half marathon and then I let her do the Los Angeles Marathon.”

After proving to her dad that she’s fully capable of running around the world, and beating records while she’s at it, the Mexican-American teen is doing it once more — this time with the accompaniment of her younger brother.

Jordan, 9, completed his first marathon in Australia at age 8. He then ran in Egypt, crossed Europe off his list when he did 26.2 miles in London and then took to Thailand. Now, he and his big sis are headed to Antarctica and then South America. He plans to finish off in the US next April.

For Blanca, who has already accomplished the task her brother faces, joining him has been a way to show support and have some fun competition.

“At the end, we try to have a competition of who can cross the finish line first, even though we’re standing next to each other,” she told KTLA 5. “So we can be still next to each other, but I’ll make sure my foot passes it first.”

As for their dad, he’s proud of both of his children meeting their goals — but he’s also looking forward to it for reasons of his own.

“Dad’s very exhausted and I need a break,” he said. “Or they need to pick another sport.”

New CDC Report Tracks Activity Levels Of Adults And Puerto Ricans Are The Second Most Sedentary

Culture

New CDC Report Tracks Activity Levels Of Adults And Puerto Ricans Are The Second Most Sedentary

Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

A new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report reveals that nearly half of Puerto Ricans get no exercise beyond walking to and from their cars and around the house. That’s more than three times the national average. The study concluded that the most significant factor in differences in the prevalence of physical inactivity was when controlled by race or ethnicity. Latinos were found to be the most sedentary (31.7 percent), marginally followed by non-Hispanic blacks (30.3 percent) with non-Hispanic whites having the lowest rate of physical inactivity at 23.4 percent. Respondents were classified as physically inactive if they responded “no” to the following question: “During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?” Every single state or territory found that more than 15 percent of adults were physically inactive.

The lack of physical activity leads to health problems that cost Americans $117 billion annually. The CDC is cautioning Americans, especially Americans of color, that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to 1 in 10 early deaths.

It’s unclear why Latinos and Black Americans are so singularly sedentary.

CREDIT: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

Some think that the cause is regional in nature. Americans concentrated in cities and urban areas are more likely to get exercise simply because of the proximity to exercise facilities and pedestrian commutes. The map above illustrates the inactivity levels of each state and territory for every American of every race and ethnicity. The South is significantly more sedentary than the North and the West regardless of one’s race or ethnicity. 

That said, when you look at the same states and factor for Latinidad, the statistics significantly worsen.

CREDIT: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

When race or ethnicity isn’t a factor, Oregon appears as one of the most active states in the country. When you look only at the Latinos living in Oregon, it becomes one of the worst in the country. That means that non-Hispanic white people either have more access to those gym memberships or faraway hiking trails or incorporate it into their culture more than Latinos living in the same area. 

It’s easy to assume the socio-economic factors at play here — that minorities are so disenfranchised that they simply don’t have the time or energy to exercise after their long or labor-intensive workdays. Latinas have the highest lifetime risk for diabetes across all demographic groups, according to non-profit Salud America! A small research study at the Fair Haven Community Health Center found that fear of injury and lack of energy were the most common barriers for Latina women. This is when the cultural trope of Latina moms being afraid for you to go too close to the freezer or you’ll catch pneumonia becomes pathological.

According to the CDC, Hispanic adults are 50 percent more likely to suffer from diabetes and liver diseases than non-Hispanic white adults. Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle have been linked to diabetes meaning that the map of inactivity is bad news for Hispanics. A more sedentary lifestyle has a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and worsening the effects if someone already has the disease.

Meanwhile, when you look at just non-Hispanic white Americans, the map brightens up just as significantly.

CREDIT: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

“Too many adults are inactive, and they may not know how much it affects their health,” said Ruth Petersen, MD, Director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. “Being physically active helps you sleep better, feel better and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers,” she added in a media statement. The CDC has found that engaging in such physical activity could prevent 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer and colorectal cancer. 

The CDC is working to get more Americans to engage in physical activity for 25 minutes a day by 2027. In order to do this, the Surgeon General has called on cities to consider walkability as part of their city planning process. “Individuals and families are encouraged to build physical activity into their day by going for a brisk walk or a hike, walking the dog, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, parking further away in the parking lot, walking or cycling to run errands, and getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way,” the federal agency said in a statement.

The study’s data came from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing state-based, telephone interview survey conducted by CDC and state health departments. The maps used combined data from 2015 through 2018.

READ: Food, Culture, And Physical Activities Are All Factors In Latinos Being Most Likely To Develop Diabetes

This Hockey Player Just Made History After Becoming The First Mexican Medalist At The Youth Winter Olympics

Entertainment

This Hockey Player Just Made History After Becoming The First Mexican Medalist At The Youth Winter Olympics

@LopezDoriega / Twitter

This young hockey player just made history after earning Mexico’s first Winter Olympics gold medal. Luisa Wilson became the first Mexican ever to win the famous award

Mexican goalkeeper Luisa Wilson helped her 3-on-3 Ice Hockey team, win a medal.

The team featuring athletes from 13 nations came away with a victory at the Winter Youth Olympics.

The Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games that began on January 9 were off to an exciting start after Wilson’s win.

Youth athletes from across the globe are battling each other for medals. But others, however, have been united on the field of play in unique “mixed-nation” competitions found only at the Youth Olympics.

Each team was comprised of players from several countries.

Wilson shares the gold with athletes from Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and Austria.

Her Yellow Team won in the final over the Black Team 6-1 in a three-game match.

“Having a gold medal around my neck is an incredible sensation and great for Mexico, but it’s a victory for a team from many nations and I love that,” said Wilson after the win.

Luisa Wilson led her Mixed-Nation 3-on-3 Ice Hockey team to victory by playing great defense as the team’s Goalkeeper.

Although the team featured players from 13 different nations, Mexico can proudly claim its historic first gold medal at the Winter Youth Olympics.

Even though the team lost two of its preliminary games, Wilson and her teammates still made it it to the finals.

“We had lost two games before, but we made it to the semifinals because we had a lot of points and in the semis we tried our best and made it to the finals,” she said. Wilson, who lives in Canada, says she chose the sport because her father also played it and she learned to love and play ice hockey from a young age, as well.

Carlos Pruneda, the head of the Mexican delegation, said the Mexican Olympic Committee is very happy with the country’s first-ever Winter Olympics gold medal.

“We’re very happy that Luisa Wilson won the gold medal with the Yellow Team, while Ximena González, with the Brown Team, ended up in fourth place,” he said.

This is the third time Mexico participates in the Youth Olympics.

The first time Mexico participated, in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012, Jose Montiel represented the country. The second time it was Joselyn McGillivary in Lillehammer Norway. This year the Mexican delegation was made up of Ximena Gonzalez, Alexander Daniel Valencia, Diego Rodriguez, Alejandro Fermin and Melanie Hernandez.

Carlos Pruneda is very proud of his Olympic team.

Pruneda said that although the youth competition has a different format from the official Winter Games and the Olympic anthem — rather than that of Mexico — was played at the awards ceremony, it was still an historic achievement for the country.

The Youth Olympic games are nearing an end as Switzerland continues to provide an engaging and exciting experience for the young athletes of the world. The Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games will conclude on January 22. Mexican athletes have competed in all three Youth Winter Olympics, which began in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012.