Friday, July 23, 2010
Puerto Rico - Day 3
It took me coming to the Central American and Caribbean Games to realize how small and sometimes insignificant the U.S. Virgin Islands can be when compared athletically to the other countries in the region.
The athletes have repeated that same theme to me multiple times as I interview them for another losing story.
The USVI has only about 100,000 people. Puerto Rico has 5 million and even though their fans have showed up in force to support their countrymen, they are hardly the most-populated country here. Countries like Columbia and Venezuela are cleaning up at the medals podium and have sent teams of journalists to cover all the action.
The USVI has not won a medal yet and they sent me, a photo/writing extraordinaire.
The newsroom is packed with dark-haired Spanish-speaking reporters yelling into microphones for reasons I do not understand. Web casts? Audio clips? I'm not really sure. All I know is that it's very distracting when I'm trying to dictate quotes from an athlete who spoke to me on the sideline of a packed gymnasium with a DJ who had a ridiculous volume preference.
The music here is garbage. Maybe it's because I don't understand Spanish. Yeah, that's probably it because you can see all the fans mouthing the words to the songs.
I was hoping for a little help from The Buzz, an alternative rock radio station that I listen to while on island. It broadcasts out of San Juan and here's the kicker: it's EN INGLES! As soon as I got to the western quadrant of Mayaguez, nothing but static.
I didn't bring any CDs and I forgot a wire for my iPod. So my 20-minute ride to and from town are consumed by my own singing. It is not a pretty sight.
Well, I'm about to go watch the USVI women's basketball team take on Jamaica for the bronze medal. Hopefully, the ladies can pull it out or it's going to be another "close but no cigar" story.
Cuba is not participating at the CAC Games. I wouldn't mind a cigar right about now.