Five facts about Juan Evangelista Venegas, the first Olympic medalist from Puerto Rico

Five facts about Juan Evangelista Venegas, the first Olympic medalist from Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico premiered in the Olympic Games in the London 1948 edition and the first medal was not long in coming.

Juan Evangelista Venegas became the first Olympic medalist in the history of Puerto Rico in those Games, after winning a bronze medal in the 54 kilogram category. The new day reviewed the history of Venegas in the first installment of the series Puerto Rican Legends of Olympismwhich premiered on Monday.

Read the story of Juan Evangelista Venegas here.

Below are five facts about Venegas:

  1. He was born in 1928 in Rio Piedras, San Juan. He died in 1987 after suffering a fall at his home, according to information from the Riopedrense Sports Hall of Fame.
  2. The Olympic Games portal highlights that he learned to fight as a means of survival when he grew up in a highly violent San Juan neighborhood.
  3. Venegas reached the 1948 Olympics after winning a gold medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla 1946 and as champion of the Golden Gloves tournament in the United States in 1946 and 1947.
  4. He went 4-1 in his five fights at London 1948 to win the bronze medal.
  5. After participating in the Olympic Games, he made the leap to professional boxing. He finished his pro career with a record of 20 wins, 10 losses, two draws and seven knockouts.

Did you know…

The Puerto Rico Boxing Federation created the Juan Evangelista Venegas National Tournament to honor the memory of the island’s first Olympic medalist. The last edition was held in December 2023 in Catano.

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