6 Afro-Latina Athletes To Watch At The Olympics

Maria Belford, a photographer and filmmaker from New York, recently took to Tumblr to create AFROLATINAS FUERTES, a long list of Afro-Latina athletes who are killing it in a wide array of sports. Naturally, there are a few Olympic athletes tucked away in there. Here are a few of those athletes you should be watching this year in Rio de Janeiro.

Don’t let her sweet face fool you. Marcia Videaux is a global name in gymnastics and will be competing in all the gymnastics events in Rio.

Country: Cuba

Videaux is the Cuban gymnast to watch, for sure. She will be one of three Cuban women who will be competing in the gymnastics competitions at the Rio Olympics, and she is literally doing ALL of the events, including all-around. Earlier this year, Videaux proved that she is a force to be reckoned with when she won the vaulting event at the World Cup of Gymnastics in Anandia, Portugal.

Ángela Tenorio went from troubled teen to the fastest sprinter in Latin America.

Country: Ecuador

Tenorio is going to the Olympics to compete in the one event she totally dominates throughout Latin America. The Ecuadorian sprinter is currently the fastest woman in the 100 meter sprint in Latin America and will be competing in that event at the Rio games. She’s also going to run in the 200 meter sprint. Tenorio will be racing against fellow Ecuadorian sprinter Marizol Landazuri in Rio. Both women, among the fastest sprinters in Latin America, grew up labeled as problem youths and channeled that energy into running. It all paid off as they are definitely two women to watch this year at the Olympics.

Once described as “the little one,” Idalys Oritz is one judoka that is definitely making her name known on the mat.

Country: Cuba

Ortiz first fell in love with judo when she was very young. By 14, she had fully committed her life to the sport. That was when she first arrived at the national training center in Havana and decided to prove her stuff with other fighters. After a long tryout process battling women bigger and stronger than her, she remembers the instructor saying that “the little one stays.” After that, she has dedicated her life to winning — and she has more than 200 medals to prove it.

Déborah Rodríguez is going from best female athlete in her home country to challenging the best in the world.

Country: Uruguay

Rodríguez is one of the best sportswomen in Uruguay. No, seriously. In 2014, the track star was awarded the Gold Charrúas by the Círculo de Periodistas Deportivos, officially crowning her the best Uruguayan female athlete for the 2013-2014 season. This honor is made even grander when you learn that she beat out competitors in 38 different sports to be the best. Since winning that award, Rodríguez has been focused on training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She won her spot in the women’s 800 meter sprint, and the last Ibero-American Championships show Rodríguez even has a knack for the 400-meter hurdles.

She was the first Colombian athlete to bring home a gold medal from the International Association of Athletic Federations competition. Now, Caterine Ibargüen is going to try to win the gold in Rio.

Country: Colombia

Ibargüen made history at the International Association of Athletic Federations competition in Moscow as the first Colombian ever to bring home the gold. Since then, she has been slaying on the track and earned herself a spot on the 2016 Colombian Olympic Track & Field team. Her specialty? The triple jump. She told El Heraldo that she never considered herself the best, but by qualifying for the Olympics, she at least knows that she’s not the worst.

This 4′ 11″ weightlifter dominated the Pan Am Games and will be looking to impress in her second Olympic appearance.

Country: Dominican Republic

At only 4′ 11″ tall, Pirón is a surprising force in the sport of weightlifting. Though she usually competes in the 48kg division, this Dominican lifter dominated the 53kg division during this year’s Pan Am Games and even took home two of the three gold medals for the competition. This will be her second Olympic appearance, so those competitive nerves, while still there, are not enough to deter this Dominican powerhouse from chasing her dreams.

Now that you’re done, go to AFROLATINAS FUERTES to check out the rest!

READ: 13 Celebs You Probably Didn’t Know Were Afro-Latino

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Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna


Vanessa Bryant Suing Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Over Leaked Photos Of Kobe And Gianna

kobebryant / lacosheriff / Instagram

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alleging violation of privacy. The lawsuit stems from behavior by the officers at the scene of her husband and daughter’s death.

Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

On Jan. 26, a helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Payton and Sarah Chester, Alyssa, Keri, and John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and pilot Ara Zobayan crashed in the Calabasas hills. The sudden death devastated those who knew Kobe and the city of Los Angeles that mourned his death for months after.

Vanessa was shocked to hear that the sheriff deputies took photos of her husband’s and daughter’s bodies at the crash site.

“This lawsuit is about accountability and about preventing this disgraceful behavior from happening to other families in the future who have suffered loss,” Vanessa’s attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement. “The department formally refused Mrs. Bryant’s requests for information, saying it was ‘unable to assist’ with any inquiry and had no legal obligation to do so. It’s now for a court to tell the department what its obligations are.”

Bryant is suing the department claiming damages for emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy.

Kobe fans are upset with the LACSD and the allegations that the deputies took these photos.

According to TMZ, Sheriff Alex Villanueva knew about the photos taken by eight deputies and shared within the department. They were also shared in the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation. Sheriff Villanueva told the deputies to delete the photos from their phones and felt confident they did so.

A trainee allegedly shared the photos with a woman in a bar.

A witness to the event said that a trainee took out his phone and showed a woman the photos to impress her. The bartender overheard the conversation and filed an online complaint about the trainee and their behavior with the photos. The trainee showed the woman the photos a few days after the crash leading many to believe that the sheriff’s department was fully aware of the photos.

Kobe fans are standing behind Vanessa as she follows through with her lawsuit.

Reports state that the sheriff’s department told deputies to delete the images to avoid disciplinary action. The coverup is sparking outrage by Kobe fans who are angered that the department did not do enough to protect the dignity and privacy of all of the victims of the crash.

Mitú will update this story as it continues to develop.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Forced To Respond To ‘Beyond Hurtful’ Comments Made By Her Own Mom On ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer


Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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