things that matter

11 Remarkable Accomplishments by Latinos in Sports

Sports have a way of bringing people together from all backgrounds. But this wasn’t always the case, especially for minorities who have been fighting for a seat at the table since the late 1800s. Thanks to trailblazers like Esteban Bellan and Judd Castro who led the way for Latino players in U.S. sports, Latino players represent upwards of 28% in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, representation of Latinos across other sports remains staggeringly low and although Latinos still remain a minority within professional athletics, their achievements are nothing from ordinary.

The Best Female Athlete of 2018

“I am struggling to stand up because my legs are shaking so much” were Caterine ibarguen’s words when she was named the World Female Athlete of the year by the IAFF. Colombian born, Caterine has won two Olympic Medals and multiple world championships on triple jump, and shows no signs of stopping.


Credit: Instagram @llano7dias

Catherine’s success is a combination of her 3.6ft long legs, her  slim body, the concentration she puts on every of her jumps (in which she rarely commits faults) , the speed she is able to achieve, and her arm technique. The best jump she has achieved was in Monaco, where her legs took her 50.22 ft long. Can’t wait to see more of her!

Credit: Instagram @triplecibarguen

The First Latino Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Before Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker became the first Latino inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he led an astonishing personal and professional career. Walker ranks among the best players of all time with 15 All-Star games and two World Series Championships with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Credit: Twitter @TheBuccosFan

He received the National League MVP award in 1966 followed by the World Series MVP in 1971. During the off-season, Clemente participated in charity work in Latin America and the Caribbean. The baseball legend died at a young age in a plane crash while he was delivering earthquake aid to Nicaragua. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame following his tragic death in 1973.

Credit: Instagram @mikeyd710

Laurie Hernandez Steals Our Hearts and Wins Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics

One of the youngest gymnasts to earn a spot on a U.S. Olympic team, sixteen-year-old Laurie Hernandez became an American sweetheart during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero. Not only was she part of the gold-medal winning team better known as the “Final Five”, she also was a silver-winning medalist on the balance beam.

Credit: Instagram @lauriehernandez

Hernandez stayed in the spotlight when she competed on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars where she was the show’s youngest winner. After taking time off after the summer Olympics, Hernandez is ready to start competing again and plans on debuting her comeback in 2019.

Credit: Instagram @lauriehernandez

Anthony Robles with Three NCAA All-American Wrestling Championships and Two ESPY Awards

Despite being born with only one leg, Anthony Robles has overcome various obstacles to become a legend in the wrestling world. Robles finished as a 3-time All-American and the 2011 NCAA National Champion while wrestling for Arizona State University.

Credit: Instagram @arobles125

Robles continued on to win two ESPY awards in 2011; one for the best male athlete with a disability and the award for perseverance. Although his days on the mat are behind him, he continues to inspire others as a motivational speaker, wrestling analyst for ESPN and the Pac-12 Network, author, and a Nike Athlete.

Credit: Instagram @arobles125

Holding the Title of #1 Female Golfer from 2007-2010

Mexican professional golfer Lorena Ochoa Reyes, played on the U.S.-based LPGA tour from 2003-2010 where she was ranked the #1 female golfer from 2007-2010. Ochoa is considered the best Latin American female golfer of all time and her legacy became official when she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.

Credit: Twitter @TheOldeFarm

Her achievements don’t stop there and in 2008 she became the host of a new annual LPGA event, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Proceeds from this tournament held at her original home course, Guadalajara Country Club, support the Lorena Ochoa Foundation that operates a primary school in Guadalajara for underprivileged students.

Credit: Instagram @efemerides_de_famosos

First Latino to Own a Major Sports Team in the United States

Arturo “Arte” Moreno became the first Latino to own a major sports team in the U.S. when he purchased the Anaheim Angels in 2003. Since then, he’s signed on several premium players, seen three consecutive winning seasons for the club from 2007-2009, and ushered the team to 6 American League Western Division wins since 2004. Now, Moreno has his eyes set on winning a World Series with the Anaheim Angels.

Credit: Twitter @LETNetworks_

His legacy doesn’t stop with baseball, Moreno is a professional businessman putting his marketing degree to good use as the Chief Executive Officer of the company Outdoor Systems. The Moreno family are also philanthropists and with the Moreno Family Fund, they help at-risk youth find stability and the resources they need to succeed in life.

Credit: Instagram @dj_zack_morse

Amy Rodriguez with Two Gold Soccer Olympic Medals and a World Cup Title

Amy Rodriguez has unarguably left her mark on the sport of soccer. With an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and 2012 and a World Cup title in 2015, she has overcome major injuries and effortlessly juggled motherhood all while scoring some of the most important goals in U.S. Women’s National Soccer history.

Credit: Instagram @amyrodriguez8

After taking a year off to recover from a torn ACL, Rodriguez took the field once again this year playing for the Utah Royals FC in the National Women’s Soccer League as a forward. Rodriguez was unsure if she would return the same player she was before her injury, but thanks to her persistence and dedication, she has provided a solid performance for the team.

Credit: Instagram @amyrodriguez8

Colombian Football Player Becomes Head Coach of the Houston Dynamo

Retired Colombian football defender Wilmer Cabrera became the first Latin American head coach of a U.S. national team when he was hired by the Major League Soccer Houston Dynamo. In Cabrera’s first year, he took the Dynamo from last place in the division to the conference final in 2017.

Credit: Instagram @datosamericanos

Don’t take our word for it, Cabrera was honored by Sports Illustrated as one of the 30 most influential Hispanics in sports in 2017.  Cabrera and his Dynamo players are giving it their all this year and there is no telling where his career might take him.

Credit: Instagram @wilmerc13

Rebecca Lobo Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

As a former women’s basketball player in the WNBA, Rebecca Lobo officially went down in history when she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2010. Lobo’s achievements started early when she became the youngest member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team to win a gold medal in 1996.

Credit: Instagram @promise50

Lobo completed a successful and inspiring seven-year WNBA career as a center with the New York Liberty, Houston Comets, and Connecticut Sun. Lobo retired in 2003 and joined ESPN as a WNBA and women’s college basketball reporter and color analyst.

Credit: Instagram @thefullcourtpress

Juan Manuel Fangio With Five World Titles on the Speedway

Juan Manuel Fangio, better known as El Chueco (“the bowlegged one”) or El Maestro (“the master”), was a leading figure in the sports formative years. The Formula One “Godfather” won five championships between 1951 and 1957 with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Maserati).

Credit: Twitter @QuickClaw46

Winning 24 of the 51 Grands Prix he competed in, Fangio was a leader of the sport during a time where peril was inevitable. Regardless of several major accidents and close incidents, Fangio still holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One.

Credit: Instagram @f1.historia

The First and Only Swimmer to Represent the United States in Five Olympic Games

Five-time Olympic swimmer and 12-time medalist Dara Torres is the first and only swimmer to compete in five Olympics. Age ain’t nothing but a number for Torres who became the oldest swimmer to ever compete in the Olympic games at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

Credit: Twitter @BostonGlobe

Although she no longer competes, Torres still holds the U.S. record for the 50m freestyle. She continues to be a role model for others as a top-selling author, motivational speaker, model, and TV personality.

Credit: Instagram @thebarmethodfresnoclovis

Emanuel Ginobili With Four NBA Titles and One Olympic Title

Emanuel Ginobili, better known as Manu to his fans, is an Argentine retired professional basketball player. His 23-season professional career began with seven seasons in Argentina and Europe. He continued his impressive career with the San Antonio Spurs where he won four NBA championships and was named an All-Star in 2005 and 2011.

Credit: Instagram @manuginobili

With his recent retirement from the sport, he’s still only one of two basketball players to receive a EuroLeague title, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal. He plans on staying close to the team and the franchise and contributing to the Spurs in anyway that he can.

Credit: Instagram @manuargginobili

21 Historical Facts About Mexico That Will Make You Sound Like A Genius

things that matter

21 Historical Facts About Mexico That Will Make You Sound Like A Genius

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Mexico is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented countries in the world. From the stereotype of the lazy panzón taking a siesta under a nopal to big misconceptions about our traditional food (repeat after me: we-do-not-really-eat-burritos) to racist representations in popular media (see Speedy Gonzalez above!), Mexico just doesn’t get a fair shake.

In order to set the record straight and to help you look super smart at fiestas, here’s 21 cool historical facts about the land South of the Rio Bravo.

1. The ancient Mayans were among the only three ancient cultures that had a notion of zero.

Credit: download.jpg. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons.

This might seem not like a big deal, but it actually is. Alongside the Mesopotamians and Indians, the Mayans reached such a level of mathematical abstraction that they could conceptualize non-existence. Smart cookies, the Mayans! They represented the zero as a shell that sort of looks like a football.

2. The war for independence was started by a priest!

Credit:miguel-hidalgo-costilla1. Digital image. Tejano Nation.

Talk about feisty men of the Church. Miguel Hidalgo, known as the father of the Independence, was a criollo priest who rebelled against the rule of the Spanish Crown. Now, even though the independence was a turning point in the formation of modern Mexico, it didn’t really translate into a better situation for the disadvantaged, among them the indigenous population that had been colonized.

3. 5 de Mayo is not a big deal in Mexico

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Seriously: all those fiesta inspired outfits and festive drinks are fun, but the big Mexican day in the US is sort of whatever in Mexico. The date commemorates the Battle of Puebla during the Mexican-French war. The actual Independence Day is September 15. Cinco de Mayo seems to be just a pretext for some to get wasted and insultingly dress up as Mexicans (cue the poncho, sombrero and maracas).

READ: 13 Things You Should Know About Cholo Culture

4. Mexico used to own most of what is currently the Southern United States

Credit: 9718328_orig. Digital image. Latina Lista.

That’s right: Trump would have had to build his wall much farther up if General Santa Anna hadn’t sold a big portion of the Mexican territory back in 1848. Just look at this map… history would be so different if things had remained like that, eh? Texas and California, two states with vast natural resources, would have been the drivers of the Mexican economy in a parallel universe.

5. A Mexican engineer invented color TV (thank him for your sessions of Netflix and chill…)

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

That’s right, a Mexican engineer is responsible for one of the greatest inventions of all time: color TV! Guillermo González Camarena invented the “Chromoscopic a for television equipment” when he was only 23! Talk about an over achiever. Bien, compa!

6. A Mayan carving seems to show an ancient astronaut!

Credit: flat,750×1000,075,t.u1 (1). Digital image. Redbubble.

This archeological artifact has puzzled researchers and conspiracy theorists for years. It was found in Palenque and seems to depict king Pakal. It does look like he is driving some sort of rocket, right? We don’t know for sure, but it is really puzzling! It does look like Pakal is holding some sort of steering wheel and the bottom of the image sure looks like rocket engines ready to fire up.

7. Chocolate comes from Mexico: you are welcome.

Credit: Matilda. TriStar Pictures.

Various indigenous civilizations from today’s Mexico ate chocolate (the word comes from the Aztec chokolatl) and considered it to be a source of vigor, sexual and otherwise. Chili and corn also come from Mexico.

8. What does the Mexican flag mean?

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Aztec legend has it that in 1323 they saw a vision of an eagle perched on a cactus eating a snake. This meant that if they found this they were to make their home at that spot. Recent research points out that the animals are symbolic: the snake is a comet, the eagle is the Sun and the cactus is a mountain.

READ: 21 Latin American Flags And The Stories Behind Them

9. Talking about the Aztecs: they buried their dead under their houses.

Credit: Tenochtitlan. Digital image. History Revealed.

Death has a different meaning in Mexican culture. The departed have a strong presence in everyday life, as evidenced by Day of the Death celebrations even today. The Aztecs used to keep their loved ones close by, literally under the house. Pictures is the great Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztex empire.

10. During colonial times society was divided by a chaste system

Credit: datos-curiosos-colonia-castas-768×398. Digital image. MXCITY.

It was as horrible as it sounds. Society in colonial New Spain was divided racially, with pure Spaniards at the top and mixed races at the bottom. Horrible.

11. Kites were prohibited in New Spain in 1774

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.

This simple and amazing toy caused too many accidents, so the viceroy decided to ban them to avoid kids falling from roofs.

12. Pancho Villa hated alcohol

Credit: Pancho Villa. Digital image. Cultura Colectiva.

The Mexican revolutionary leader really despised booze. He thought that it was the source of all evil and destroyed many cantinas in his lifetime.

13. Women had a crucial role in the battlefield during the Mexican Revolution

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Known as soldaderas, female revolutionary fighters not only cured and fed the men, but also fought and worked as spies, often arranging arms trafficking with the United States.

14. Mexico’s official name is not actually Mexico

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According to the 1917 Constitution, the country’s official name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Go figure!

15. Mexico’s National University is the oldest in America

Credit: UNAM.

It was founded in 1551, which makes it the oldest higher education institution in the continent and one of the oldest in the world.

16. Mexico has 37,266 registered archeological sites!

Credit: Panoramic_view_of_Teotihuacan. Digital image. Wikipedia.

What is now Mexico was populated with numerous indigenous civilizations that left behind amazing ruins that little by little reveal the richness of their culture.

17. Smallpox defeated the Aztecs

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Sure, the Spanish conquistadores had superior weaponry but the Aztec Empire put up a good fight. However, the Aztecs were not prepared for their toughest enemy: smallpox. This virus killed hundreds of thousands as the Aztecs did not have the antibodies to fight it.

18. During the US-Mexico war in the 19th century an Irish-American battalion switched sides and joined the Mexicans!

Credit: 753063. Digital Image. Mas MX

Known as Saint Patrick’s Battalion, a group of Irishmen soldiers realized that they identified with the Mexicans and joined the fight against the US. Something similar happened in Haiti, where Polish soldiers rebelled against the French Army and fought oppression alongside the Haitians.

19. The first printing press in North America was brought to Mexico

Credit:printingpress. Digital image. CHW2 World History

That’s right, printed world culture in North America wasn’t born in the United States, but in 1539 New Spain. The printing press became a key component for evangelization in the new continent.

20. Hollywood actor Anthony Quinn was Mexican!

Credit: Viva Zapata! Twentieth Century Fox.

Even though most think that the epitome of Hollywood rough masculinity was American, he was in fact born in Chihuahua and his full name was Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca.

21. And so is absolute bombshell Lupita Nyong’o

Credit: Twitter. @Lupita_Nyongo

The amazing Oscar winner has dual Kenyan-Mexican nationality. She was born in Mexico City during her father’s tenure at a Mexican university. She proudly wears her double nationality wherever she goes. Lupita, hermana, eres mexicana!

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