Minor setback for a major comeback. That was Jasmine Camacho-Quinn's mindset heading into the 2020 Summer Olympics.
In 2016, Camacho-Quinn was on track to compete in the finals for the women's 100-meter hurdles for the Rio Olympics. Unfortunately, she hit a hurdle and was disqualified in the semifinals. It was a heartbreaking finish for Puerto Rican track star.
Instead of allowing the Rio Olympics to define her career, Camacho-Quinn bounced back and won the gold medal in the same event in the Tokyo Olympics. She became the second Puerto Rican ever to win a gold medal while representing Puerto Rico.
We sat down with Jasmine Camacho-Quinn to discuss her accomplishments at the Tokyo Olympics, her partnership with Buchanan's and much more.
This interview is presented by Buchanan’s‘What Glory We Are’campaign. Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky honors Hispanic Heritage Month with the introduction of “What Glory We Are,” the brand’s new national advertising campaign that celebrates the unique duality of the Hispanic American experience as 100% Hispanic and 100% American aka 200%ers by committing to spotlighting the narratives of Hispanic Americans.
The Spun: Can you tell me about the launch of Buchanan’s ‘What Glory We Are’ campaign and why it’s so important to you?
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn: The ‘What Glory We Are’ campaign is about celebrating 200-percenters, 100 percent Hispanic and 100 percent American. It was, how can I say it, it was like celebrating the uniqueness of those like myself. That’s really what I can say about that.
The Spun: I see that partnership is all about embracing culture. What aspects of your culture resonate with you the most?
JCQ: For me, growing up, I came from two different backgrounds. I got to experience my mom’s side, which was Puerto Rican. Language wasn’t No. 1 for us because it was hard for it to happen if we weren’t around. The food that we ate, though, we’ve definitely kept that in our lives. Music has been a big part of our lives as well. My mother always made sure we kept the music close to us. Honestly, the traditions we had growing up made me who I am today, and I’m proud of who I am.
The Spun: What does it mean to you to represent Puerto Rico on the biggest stage?
JCQ: It means everything to me. Being able to represent Puerto Rico means so much. This year wasn’t my first time representing the country, but it was my first time winning a medal for my people. That meant so much because I feel like there’s nothing better than stepping out there and representing such a beautiful country. It shows what us Puerto Ricans can bring to the table, and that feeling will never go away.
The Spun: What was your initial reaction when you realized you won the gold medal in the 100m hurdles?
JCQ: Honestly, I didn’t even think about the gold medal at first. I hit hurdle No. 9 and I had to save myself for hurdle No. 10. So, when I crossed the line, I had a flashback to what happened a couple of years ago at my first Olmypic Games. After, it finally hit me that I won an Olympic gold medal. Once I calmed down, I was like ‘My life is going to change.’ I just couldn’t believe it.
The Spun: You shared a clip of your shortcomings in 2016 and triumph in 2021 on Instagram. What would be the message to your fans?
JCQ: For me, I always say it’s a minor setback for a major comeback. There’s always going to be bumps in the road and things won’t work out, but you need to get back on your feet. You need to ask yourself what do you want. For me, in that situation in 2016, I was heartbroken. But I told myself to not make the same mistakes again. You can’t let those mistakes stop you from doing what you were meant to do. No one has a perfect story. You just have to keep pushing forward, and I showed that.
The Spun: Did your schedule slow down once you returned from the Olympics?
JCQ: I’ve been doing a lot of work ever since I won the gold medal. For now, I’m OK with it because it’s technically the offseason. I knew that things would change after the Summer Olympics. It’s been crazy, but I don’t mind it. It’s exciting for me, honestly.
The Spun: Does the Quinn family ever compare athletic achievements?
JCQ: Me and my brother [Robert Quinn] like to trash-talk each other. We’ll joke around about who won this or who did that. It’s never personal, it’s just a way of us having fun. Robert and I know how to make fun of each other out of love.
The Spun: What’s next for Jasmine Camacho-Quinn?
JCQ: I’m just focusing on perfecting my craft. That’s it, for real. I just want to be back on the track and doing what I love to do.
Camacho-Quinn is currently at the top of the mountain, and judging by her recent remarks, she has no plans on coming down anytime soon.
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