Swimmers Jarod Arroyo and Miriam Sheehan to represent Puerto Rico in Tokyo Olympics
Both accomplished swimmers in the Latin American region will hope to finally win an Olympic medal for the island in swimming.
The Puerto Rican Swimming Federation recently announced that Jarod Arroyo and Miriam Sheehan have been confirmed as the two athletes to compete for Puerto Rico in swimming at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
Both Arroyo and Sheehan represented Puerto Rico internationally in 2019 at the World Championships and Junior World Championships. However, this will be the first time they are headed to the Olympics.
Arroyo and Sheehan were both picked based on their strength, physical perseverance, and speed.
In 2018, Arroyo received a gold medal in the men's 200 meter individual medley event at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
In May of this year, he also received a gold medal at the Puerto Rico International Swimming Open, where he won the Men 400 Medley with a time of 04:16.63.
Arroyo, who was raised in Tempe, Arizona, said he is more than happy to represent Puerto Rico again and expressed pride at his Boricua heritage.
“Representing Puerto Rico for me is such a great honor,” Arroyo told Swimming World. “I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to do that. Even though Puerto Ricans have been through so many trials and hardships, they still get so much happiness out of life, and to be able to represent people like that, it’s such a great honor for me personally.”
Although he is just 20 years old, Arroyo has a bright future ahead of him.
Sheehan was also born and raised in Arizona, and moved to Puerto Rico in May 2017 along with her parents, who are from Dubuque, Iowa. Both are also accomplished athletes.
"Puerto Rico is the only home I have," Sheehan told TelemundoPR.
She swam for Puerto Rico at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest and also finished 42nd in the women’s 100 freestyle, with a time of 57.70.
Sheehan, who is just 16 years old, has also set many records in many Puerto Rico swimming competitions.
When she was 15 and 16, she set Puerto Rican records for the age group in the 50 meter freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events, as well as the 100-meter freestyle while competing in the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.
Sheehan also earned a bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle event, and a silver medal in the 50 meter backstroke competition.
Puerto Rico has never won a medal for swimming at the Olympic Games, but with Arroyo and Sheehan, that reality may change.
In 2016, Tennis player of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, Monica Puig won Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medal.