Although the January issue included interviews with people from every state, we didn't have room for the districts and territories. Here, wisdom from a few of the overlooked.
Ricardo Bias Jr.
GUAM | Judo competitor and Olympic flag bearer, 22
Guam's barbecues are pretty epic. Each village hosts a fiesta, and everybody on Guam is allowed to come.
Try kelaguen. You barbecue some chicken, chop it up, put some lemon juice, some salt, some onions. It's so good.
I carried the flag into a stadium with one hundred thousand people in the stands. I just remember a void of endless faces and noise. It was frightening beyond explanation. But it is the greatest honor I've ever received.
About 410. People make a much bigger deal about it than I do. I can still run as long as I need to and do everything I need to do. I just happen to be bigger than everyone else.
Back in the games, my maximum bench press was 510. I can curl 220 pounds. Squat 700 to 800 pounds, depending on the day--and depending on my spotters.
In my Olympics match, they called a penalty against me and I knew I had lost. I thought, All this time and now it's over. You don't go to something as big as this and just hope to do your best. You want to be the best. The gold medalist.
I'm at school in Portland [Oregon] now. It snowed last night. It still gets you, having grown upon an island.
PUERTO RICO | Founding member of Menudo, 41
I was nine years old, so for me, it was a game. We would practice during the week after school, and we would do these shows on the weekend.
We were in Uruguay after a show in the eighties, and we were trying to get through all the people to the bus. I was the last in the line and I got left behind. People were screaming and pulling at our clothes, but as soon as the bus left, everyone left me alone. I think they thought I was trying to impersonate one of the guys.
Sometimes it takes people not liking you for you to sleep soundly at night, knowing that you made the right decision.
At the end of the day, I love coming home to my kids and my wife. That was something that I was looking forward to when I left the group. I wanted to come home. To be with my family and my friends.
We're U.S. citizens. We're proud to be U.S. citizens, but we don't know if we want to be a state of the union. There's also a small fraction of people who want Puerto Rico to be totally independent. So it all depends who you ask.
Maybe you think that if you go to Florida, you'll have a better life there, but then you'll miss out on making here a better place. So for the time being, I'll be here.
I say that, but my kids, if they go to college in the States, I'll sell my home and just hang out there, wherever they are.
Jack the Bulldog and Father Christopher Steck
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA | Georgetown University mascot, 5; Jack's caretaker and associate professor of ethics, 50
Jack is a symbol. He's the object of a lot of affection, but I don't think that fondness is really about him. It's about what he symbolizes for people: community, bonds of friendship, educational ideals, and Hoya sports.
"Hoya Saxa" is a cheer. Hoya is greek for "what" or "those." Saxa is Latin for "rocks." People think it goes back to when our football team used to play on the front lawn of Georgetown. There's a stone wall next to it.
Bulldogs are stubborn. Jack's not going to respond to people on their schedule. When he decides he wants to be scratched, he'll go up and let the person know.
He likes his butt scratched. People will come up to him and pet his head. He'll turn right around and show them his butt.
I once received a thank-you note from a student that described me as "one of Georgetown's biggest celebrities." I thought that was a bit over-the-top, but then I realized that the note was addressed to Jack, not me.
I feel like I live in the reflected glory of a dog. But sometimes the most important thing you do in life is to help others shine.
"What I've learned: special territory addendum.(THIS WAY IN)." Esquire Mar. 2009: 34. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 Oct. 2009.
United States Judo Association - USJA
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