Orlando Cruz has made sports history by announcing that he’s gay…
With that announcement, the 31-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer is believed to be the first openly homosexual pro boxer.
“I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man,” the reigning WBO NABO featherweight champion said in a statement released Wednesday night.
Cruz, who represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, says he’s relieved about his decision and had initial reservations about coming out in what he calls a “macho” sport.
“I don’t want to hide any of my identities. I want people to look at me for the human being that I am,” said the fighter known as “El fenomeno.”
Cruz’s announcement comes two weeks before he challenges Mexico’s Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino title.
He’s currently ranked as the WBO’s No. 4 featherweight. He’s 18-2-1 with nine knockouts.
In an interview with the Associated Press, he says that he met with psychologists before making his announcement and adds he has the full support of his family, trainer and manager.
Robelis Despaigne will be heading home from the 2012 Olympic Games as his country’s sole taekwondo medalist.
The 24-year-old Cuban taekwondo practitioner won a bronze medal at the London Games on Saturday in the men’s heavyweight event after twice world champion Dada Modibo Keita of Mali pulled out of their medal bout with cruciate ligament damage.
It’s Cuba’s first men’s taekwondo medal since the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, when Ángel Matos won the gold in the men’s middleweight class.
In all, Cuba has four taekwondo medals, including silver medals won by Urbia Melendez at the 2000 Olympic Games and Yanelis Labrada at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
The third time’s a charm for Spain’s women’s handball team at the 2012 Olympic Games…
Spain beat South Korea 31-29 after two periods of extra time on Saturday to win the Olympic women’s handball bronze medal at the London Games.
Competing in only its third Olympics in the women’s handball event, the Spanish team held its nerve against the two-time Olympic champions, who finished off the podium for only the second time in eight appearances. The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney is the only other time that South Korea ended the competition out of the medals since the sport was introduced at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Spain’s Jessica Alonso scored the game’s final goal late in the second period of extra time after the teams had already finished tied after normal time and the first period of extra time.
Goalkeeper Mihaela Ciobanu came on just for penalties and saved four of the five she faced to help Spain to the upset win.
South Korea had a four-goal lead in the first half and could’ve made it five except for a good save by Spanish keeper Silvia Navarro. A few minutes later, Spain was ahead after six straight strikes.
Suddenly the Spaniards, who seemed out of their element against the inexhaustible Koreans, found their form and when they surged into a four-goal lead after less than eight minutes of the second half they looked quite at ease.
But Spain, who finished third at the 2011 World Championships, buckled under some heavy Korean pressure in normal time and the two extra time periods. But the team managed to get back into rhythm and end the game on top.