Those first three words are in the Olympic motto.
I think we need to change it. We are forgetting an important quality of some Olympic athletes; hypocrisy.
When I was young, I had two dreams. One was to be a horse rancher. The other was to be an Olympic athlete. Neither happened. Horse ranching is not a very lucrative occupation and you have to have athletic talent to be an Olympian. I was lacking in the talent and the focus and drive required. Add to that the fact that it was the last 60’s and early 70’s and there just weren’t that many opportunities to train as a track athlete, especially when one moved around every four years as I did. Dad was career Air Force.
But I would have given anything, ANYTHING, if I could have the opportunity.
I always enjoyed watching the Olympics. I was awed by the dedication and spirit of these athletes, even the ones who didn’t win medals. Or who came from countries where the participation was difficult. I even worked at the gymnastics competition in 1996 and got to have the Olympic experience first hand.
Something has changed over the years. Remember how incredible athletes were so proud to run around the track waving our flag? Or those who cried during the National Anthem while they held their hands over their hearts? Remember so many of them proclaiming how proud they were to represent our country?
However, for some current athletes, the burden of coming from a country that supports their training, that has allowed them to seek out and achieve their dreams, is too much of a cross to bear.
Take Gwen Berry. Poor Gwen. They tricked her the other day and had the NERVE to play our National Anthem during the award ceremony for her event. Gwen had gotten the bronze and a spot in Tokyo. And, when she stepped on the medal stand, those evil racists played the Star Spangled Banner.
Apparently this song that represents our country, her country, is extremely offensive to her. Somehow, she thought that because she doesn’t like our national anthem, they wouldn’t play it. Maybe they should have played a Beyonce song?
So, like the responsible adult she is, she threw a tantrum on the stand, putting her t-shirt over her head and acting like a two year old. Then when people called her out for this, she reacted with the normal adolescent response, ” I was set up.” ( For the record, Gwen, I tried that excuse when my Mom and Dad came to Ocean City looking for me when I was 15 and was not in the place I should have been. It didn’t work. My Dad put my ass in the car and took me home. I didn’t see outside for a while.)
In Gwen’s case, apparently the people in the sound booth KNEW she didn’t like the anthem, had promised not to play it, and did it anyway. What jerks. Nevermind that the other two medal winners seemed fine with it, ( and dared to act proud), because it’s all about Gwen who is an “activist athlete.”
It was tough because she didn’t know what to do when the anthem came on. Should she run away screaming, throwing her medal to the ground? Should she set her hair on fire in protest? Or maybe stand there respectfully like any normal human would have and say something later? Nope. She put that t-shirt over her head like a two year old who just found out she couldn’t have a cookie. And then she said it was a set up.
It’s not the first time Ms. Berry has made it all about her. She’s done this before while wearing a USA uniform. Raised a fist, got suspended, and then complained because her sponsors took away her “revenue.” See, Gwen, people don’t like to be embarrassed by ungrateful, entitled and self-absorbed athetes, especially when they know how many hundreds of others would be thrilled to represent their country with or without sponsorships.
Of course Gwen listed all the points in her rationale; “murders” of criminals by police while said criminals were resisting arrest, phony virtual signalling by companies via commercials about black lives matters, you know, all the normal laundry list.
How dare we question her, an activist athlete who wants to go to the Olympics on our dime, who gets paid to train by sponsors and tax dollars, for embarrassing us in pubic? She says she doesn’t hate our country. She just doesn’t think that anthem represents her.
Here’s the thing, Gwen, when you wear our name on YOUR chest, when you agree to compete under our colors, you need not act like a fool. You need to stand there respectfully and reflect on all the good things this country has done, for you, for so many others. You need to think about all the people who won’t have a chance to go compete internationally even though they have trained as hard as you have. You also need to think how you made YOURSELF the center of attention and stole the moment for two other athletes who have never wronged you.
I do have an idea for you. If this country is so horrible, so unfair, so evil, don’t compete for it. Don’t wear the apparel. Don’t allow that country to pay your way to Tokyo and don’t accept the stipend, room and board that is provided. Step down and allow someone else who has worked just as hard to take your place. Unlike Communist countries, no one is forcing you to go.
Even better, find a perfect country to represent. I’m sure there are many out there who would love to have you. Sweden maybe? Or maybe Ghana? Or maybe North Korea. I am sure Little Rocket Man would be happy to have you and will allow you to do all the protesting you want to do. I’m told they provide free housing and meals in their facilities.
Bottom line is, if you continue to represent this horrible country in athletic competition, Gwen, you are a hypocrite, plain and simple. And I know you don’t want that. So, give that spot to someone else who would be thrilled to have it.
We will support you if you make that decision. We don’t want those offended by us to represent us.