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Her Parents Couldn’t Afford Running Shoes, Now She’s An Olympian

Meet Brenda Martinez.

She’s an elite distance runner who recently qualified for the Olympics — by a fraction of a second.

Brenda Martinez diving for the final spot on the Olympic 1500M team #roadtorio #olympics #tracktown16

A photo posted by James Carney (@jamescarney24) on

This is how close it was:

Credit: NBC / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: NBC / YouTube

Martinez placed third in the 1500m Olympic qualifying race, beating out Amanda Eccleston by .03 seconds to snatch the final spot on the Olympic 1500m team.

When Martinez realized she qualified, she broke down. After years of personal struggles and setbacks, the 28-year-old knew she would get a chance to perform on track and field’s biggest stage.

The joy of making an Olympic team #roadtorio #olympics #tracktown16 @nbrunning @newbalanceus @newbalance

A photo posted by James Carney (@jamescarney24) on

How’d she get there? Let’s start at the beginning. Martinez was a hyperactive kid who had too much energy for her hardworking parents, who each worked two jobs to support Martinez and her two siblings.

Martinez was such a ball of energy that her mother enrolled her in a track and field club. Her mom took on another job so she could pay the club’s fees.


While in the program, Martinez’s coaches realized she wasn’t great at sprinting. But she could run for a long time. That’s when Martinez, who says she was tough to beat when playing “tag” at school, became a distance runner.

Martinez says her parents couldn’t afford nice running shoes when she was a kid, so now she donates shoes to those in need.


“I remember when I was young and my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a new pair of running shoes,” wrote Martinez on Instagram. “The shoes I wore to school were the same shoes I wore to practice. My father would always try to find running shoes on the clearance rack. I’m donating back to the sport that gave me a fighting chance in the world.”

After standout performances in high school, Martinez went on to have an impressive career at UC Riverside, where she would be named All-American three times.

#seemyrun One of my favorite runs on the mountain. #nationalrunningday #BigBearLake

A photo posted by BRENDA MARTINEZ (@bmartrun) on


It was also where she met her husband (and trainer) Carlos Handler, a former UC Riverside running star.

After college, Martinez dreamed of making an Olympic team. Her dream was put on hold when two Olympic development teams rejected her.


Without a team to support her, Martinez wondered if she would have to give up on the sport she loved. “There were days when, I don’t want to say I was depressed, but I was crying a lot,” Martinez told Runner’s World.

Without a coach or a team, Martinez and her husband, Carlos Handler, contemplated their next move. Handler decided to give up his running career to pay the rent.


Handler began working construction jobs to help pay the rent and to help Martinez focus on her career. “I couldn’t be selfish and I knew Brenda could do it,” Handler told the OC Register.

Eventually, Martinez and Handler linked up with Joe Vigil, a legendary coach who believed in Martinez’s talent.


Vigil wasn’t just any coach. The 86-year-old has led Adams State University to 19 national championships in cross-country.

After learning that Martinez was rejected by two Olympic development teams, Vigil agreed to coach Martinez. It’s worked out well:


In 2013, Martinez won a bronze medal at the World Championships, becoming the first American woman to medal at a major championship in 25 years.

So at this year’s Olympic trials, Martinez was poised to qualify for two events: the 800m run and the 1500m run.

Credit: NBC / Timgraysontv / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: NBC / Timgraysontv / YouTube

But disaster struck during the 800m. Just as Martinez was making a push, her foot was clipped and she lost her momentum.

Credit: NBC Sports / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: NBC Sports / YouTube

Just like that, Martinez lost her shot at qualifying for the 800m.

Martinez was shaken after the race, but she faced the adversity head on, and focused on qualifying for the 1500m.

Credit: letsrundotcom / YouTube
CREDIT: Credit: letsrundotcom / YouTube

“The track doesn’t care about your feelings. You’ve just got to move forward,” said Martinez after the race.

So when Martinez came back and qualified for the 1500m, she was just doing what she always does: overcoming setbacks.


Martinez’s husband attributes her determination to her upbringing. He told the OC Register that growing up without much money made her tougher: “I just think the environment she comes from doesn’t allow her to quit, she doesn’t know when to give up. She just keeps pushing through it.”

Martinez, who runs a running camp for high school girls, says that her desire to inspire young Latina runners also gives her an edge.


Every year, Martinez picks 10 girls to participate in the camp. She pays for their meals and transportation. Her sponsor provides the kids with three pairs of shoes and running gear.

Martinez told Runner’s World whenever there’s a bad day during training, she reminds herself she’s got lots of young runners looking up to her.

#tuesdaythoughts Focus on the good! Life is short, live it to the fullest! #teamNB #alwaysinbeta

A photo posted by BRENDA MARTINEZ (@bmartrun) on


“There’s no more feeling sorry for myself. They’re the ones who are keeping me hungry.”

Read more about Brenda Martinez @ Runner’s World and @ OC Register.


READ: Meet The Mexican Volleyball Player Who Was One Of College Volleyball’s Biggest Stars

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

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Missouri Woman Seen Holding Pelosi Sign Faces First Judge In Series Of Court Dates For Federal Charges

homegrownterrorists / Instagram

Update January 21, 2021

A Missouri woman named Emily Hernandez had a court hearing in St. Louis after her involvement in the Capitol riots. Hernandez, 21, is facing several federal charges after participating in the deadly Capitol riot.

Emily Hernandez is facing the music after storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

According to KSDK, Hernandez, who is from Sullivan, Missouri, has been released without bond after her first hearing in St. Louis. She has been ordered to stay in the Eastern District of Missouri until her next court date in Washington. Part of the terms of her release is that she is not allowed to travel to Washington other than for her court date.

During the hearing, she was recorded saying, “I’m sorry, I’m nervous.”

Hernandez is facing the following federal charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business, steal, sell, convey or dispose of anything of value in the United States, disruptive conduct in the Capitol buildings, parading, demonstrating or picketing in the Capitol buildings.

Original: After a group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Jan. 6, people immediately started identifying the intruders. Videos have been circulating and people are steadily contacting the FBI to expose them. Instagram page @homegrownterrorists is one of the leading forces in identifying the rioters.

On Jan. 6, people stormed our Capitol building and the American people are demanding justice.

Images of people storming the Capitol building and looting the offices of members of Congress startled people around the world. One of the safest places in the world was overrun by far-right Trump supporters attacking the democratic process. Americans are demanding justice and working together to identify and report as many people to the FBI that were at the Capitol.

The Instagram page is unapologetically encouraging followers to identify people at the Capitol.

Five people died as a result of the riot, two of them were police officers. The Instagram page, run anonymously, is encouraging people to share the photos to their stories to increase the reach. The account might not have any legal power, but it is having some success. There has been more than one person identified through the IG page that has led to people losing jobs and being arrested by the FBI.

The account has disappeared multiple times but always comes back.

The mystery person running the account has expressed concern over their safety. The account has been suspended by Instagram after being reported by multiple people. There has even been some talk about them receiving threats of violence via DMs.

The person who runs the account has mentioned it randomly on their stories but with no real detail. According to recent stories, the person behind the account doesn’t want to antagonize the people sending threats.

The owner of the account did say that they have been contacted by Instagram about the account.

A tweet from HomeGrownTerrorists caught Instagram’s attention and the account was reinstated. However, there was a backup account to keep functioning in case the original got deleted. IG and the account owner reached an agreement where they get to keep the main account and the backup account was permanently banned. No questions asked.

If you want to help or be connected to the cause, you can follow this page on Instagram.

There are a lot of people left to identify and the nation’s law enforcement is bracing for more violence. Capitols in all 50 states are on alert for possible attacks and the National Guard is being mobilized in big numbers for the inauguration. We are not out of the woods when it comes to the threats that have been made.

READ: After Last Week’s Riots, A Black Woman Has Been Appointed to U.S. Capitol Police Chief

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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