Sara Rosario Velez has become the first female president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee, or Copur, after former fencing star David Bernier stepped down from the post.
Rosario Velez will take the place of Bernier, who three weeks ago was appointed secretary of state in the administration of Gov.-elect Alejandro Garcia Padilla.
"I'm pleased and very happy to be chosen as the first woman president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee. All my life I've worked for the Olympics. Being president of the Olympic Committee was never a goal of mine, but the chance came along and I took it," Rosario Velez said in a press release.
She said the 42 sports federations under Copur and their directors will have to work with her "as a team" and not as "separate federations" with a view to the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.
She also said that while wrestler Jaime Espinal and 400-meter hurdler Javier Culson won silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the London Olympics, the goal of Copur will be to bring home the first gold medal for the U.S. commonwealth.
"The bronze and silver medals are great, and we're looking for more athletes like Javier Culson and Jaime Espinal. We're going to Rio (de Janeiro) 2016 to get that gold medal everyone dreams of," she said.
Rosario Velez will officially assume her new position on Dec. 13 at Casa Olimpica in Old San Juan. EFE