According to Team USA, Hispanic athletes had a major impact for team USA in Rio.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 56.6 million Americans — or 17.6 percent of the nation’s population — were of Hispanic descent as of July 2015, and that number is growing.
Since 1989, the United States has celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This year’s that includes celebrating the feats of Leyva and nine other U.S. athletes who won medals at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Mexico represents the origin for 63 percent of Hispanic Americans, including Nico Hernandez (boxing), Jackie Galloway (taekwondo) and Sarah Robles (weightlifting), who all won bronze medals in Rio.
Three Olympic gold medalists from Team USA are of Puerto Rican descent: basketball player Carmelo Anthony, gymnast Laurie Hernandez and water polo captain Maggie Steffens.
Four-time Olympic champion basketball player Diana Taurasi and four-time 2016 Olympic swimming medalist Maya DiRado each have a parent who was born in Argentina. Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte, who won his 12th career Olympic swimming medal in Rio, is the son of a Cuba-born mom.
“The USA is a mixed bag of cultures, peoples and beliefs, each being as unique and lovely as the next,” Robles, who became the first American to win an Olympic weightlifting medal since 2000, said in an email. “My Hispanic heritage is rich and interesting, and I hope I do my family and country proud by representing them.”
Check out our latest infographic which mentions why the Olympic Games 2020 are important to connect with the U.S. Hispanic Audience: