108 // TO­TAL ACE

Ocean Drive - - Contents March 2017 - BY BECKY RAN­DEL

At 22 years old, Monica Puig won an Olympic gold medal. This month, the Mi­ami res­i­dent com­petes on her home turf at the Mi­ami Open.

AT 22 YEARS OLD, MONICA PUIG WON AN OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL. THIS MONTH, THE MI­AMI RES­I­DENT COM­PETES ON HER HOME TURF AT THE MI­AMI OPEN.

Last sum­mer, Monica Puig made his­tory when she won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, be­com­ing the first Puerto Ri­can woman to win an Olympic medal in any sport, and the first per­son to ever win gold for Puerto Rico. Raised in Mi­ami, the pro ath­lete and brand am­bas­sador for Chrysler and AT&T talks to Ocean Drive about win­ning big and re­turn­ing home.

How has your life changed since Rio? I am just very hon­ored and priv­i­leged to be in this po­si­tion. I am also ex­cited that it has given me an even big­ger plat­form to act on, and that it has brought such tremen­dous hap­pi­ness to Puerto Rico and its peo­ple. What has the re­sponse been like? Just amaz­ing. We went back to Puerto Rico with my whole team and had an amaz­ing wel­come at the air­port, a pa­rade, and cel­e­bra­tion. In De­cem­ber, I launched the first edi­tion of the Monica Puig In­vi­ta­tional—an an­nual ten­nis ex­hi­bi­tion in which I will be bring­ing play­ers to the is­land to play against, and give the peo­ple of Puerto Rico the op­por­tu­nity to see live ten­nis and grow the sport. Are you very strate­gic about so­cial me­dia? I use it quite a bit, be­cause I like to keep my fans in­volved and up to date. I am con­scious about [us­ing it] while I am in tour­na­ments and play­ing, as I want to stay very fo­cused, but it is a great out­let to con­nect with my fans.

@mon­i­caace93 Is win­ning at the Mi­ami Open one of your 2017 res­o­lu­tions? Oh, it sure is! That is my “home tour­na­ment,” so I am def­i­nitely putting that as a big goal. March 20–April 2; 7300 Cran­don Blvd., Key Bis­cayne; mi­amiopen.com

Monica muig (here at the wom­ends sin­gles gold medal match at the oio 2M1S llympics) will com­pete with the worldds great­est ten­nis play­ers as they vie for mil­lions of dol­lars in cash prizes at this yeards Mi­ami lpen.

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