The Star-Herald

What Olympics are all about

To the editor:

To be totally candid, I avoided watching this summer’s Olympics like the plague — not because I had a sudden aversion to world-class sports and seat-of-your-pants competition, but because I had no desire to see the tantrums of spoiled, entitled athletes spitting on and protesting the very country that gave them all the opportunities in the world.

It was mere chance, therefore, that I came upon an interview of female wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock just after she won the gold medal for the U.S.A. She swathed herself in the 

American flag while emoting an excited myriad of emotions. The best part is when she was asked how she felt winning the gold while representing America. While simultaneously laughing and crying, she expressed how thrilled she was to represent her country and that she was “freakin’ glad” to live in the U.S.

Her joy was so infectious I suddenly remembered why I used to love the Olympics. It was a time when the world actually came together, forgot the bad going on in the world to the extent possible, and we reveled in the abilities of humankind. Athletes from “opposing” countries actually supported each other for this fleeting moment and saw the humanity in each other, not what country they represented, not the color of their skin.

My mind went to a documentary I saw of Jesse Owens, a black American, who had the courage and the character to compete in Nazi Germany. I remember how the crowd, mostly made up of Germans I imagine, leapt to their feet cheering his victory over their country’s racer. And I remember that athlete unabashedly congratulating Owens for his accomplishment.

This is the kind of Olympics I want to see.  I want to see more Tamyras absolutely beaming with pride just for the chance to represent their country, a country they love.

I think all these who protest America need to ask themselves this question: If America is so bad, then why in the world are hundreds of thousands from other countries storming our southern border to be a part of it?

Clare Kierstead
Presque Isle

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