We all watched news reports as Hurricane Maria made direct landfall and ravaged your island in late September, killing at least 51 people. Safe in OUR homes, we saw images parade across the news and social media of YOUR homes and businesses destroyed and read reports of massive shortages of medical care, food, fresh water, infrastructure, electricity – the most basic of human needs. Puerto Rico has endured an environmental disaster and humanitarian crisis and continues to struggle with daily life in the long and difficult road to recovery on a scale that none of us can imagine.
AND YET YOU ARE HERE – AT THE 2017 WKC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ORLANDO.
You came without complaint. And instead with you brought your love of martial arts, your skill, your spirit, your enthusiasm, your sportsmanship and most of all your heart and in so doing showed all of us the true meaning of the word resilience.
And so, we humbly say thank you to every member of Team Puerto Rico who walked through the doors of the 2017 WKC World Championship Opening Ceremony loud and proud to be there and ready to step into the ring for a chance to shine in a sport you love, for which each of you trained hard, at an event that during the midst of the havoc wreaked on your lives was the last thing in your thoughts.
We humbly say thank you for showing us that our own complaints, however important they may seem at the time, are in fact small when measured in a larger picture.
We humbly say thank for showing us that we should all CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY. Events often don’t run smoothly. Sport is unpredictable. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it’s fair. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes, we all need to take a step back, breathe, realize how fortunate we are to be together participating, or watching our children participate in something they love, in an atmosphere of good sportsmanship and camaraderie and simply CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.