August 8, 2008, - 1:21 pm

About the Olympics: What’s Wrong with Cheering for America?

By Debbie Schlussel
Longtime readers know what I think of the Olympic Games, even though I represented an Olympic Silver Medalist diver at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta (and got him a centerfold spread in Sports Illustrated). In case you aren’t familiar with my Olympic views, read my three part series on the 2002 Olympics, which applies to them all:
* “What’s So Great About the Olympics? Nothing”: Part I
* Part II
* Part III
Still, while I will mostly ignore the silly hype over meaningless games (where the athletes are now well-funded pros and often not really from the country which they’re representing), I’m always bothered by the fact that NBC goes out of its way not to appear pro-American. Just what do they think the “N” in NBC stands for? And which “Nation” in national is it? In case they forgot–which during the Olympics is very clear–USA Today “Sports on TV” columnist Michael Hiestand has some advice for them:

americanflag.jpg

Don’t fear lapel flag pins:
NBC has been criticized for focusing too much on U.S. athletes. Hello? NBC is less of a homer on the Games than most TV networks around the world. And since you’re probably not betting on the breaststrokes, or you’re not in a gymnastics fantasy league, or wonder how you score in diving anyway, there’s nothing wrong with giving viewers a little old-fashioned nationalism.
With the Olympics, after all, it’s not as if we’re going to end up invading anybody.

And if we were going to invade someone, so what? And trust me, if the Yasser-Arafat-T-Shirt-Wearing Palestinian Olympic team wins any medals (it won’t), Al-Jazeera will be cheering ad nauseam for that latest reward for murdering the entire Israeli Olympic team in 1972.
Oh, and by the way, for all you Mitt Romney supporters, I guess you forgot this offensive BS, when he headed the 2002 Olympic Games, on U.S. soil, just months after 9/11:

Around the world it was like, ‘Boy, those Americans, always beating their chests.’ This is not our time to talk about how great America is. It’s not designed to be a patriotic American display.

He told that to a foreign newspaper, the UK’s Guardian, in 2002, just before the Olympics.
Mitt Happens. And sadly, the Olympics do, too.

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3 Responses

Right on the money. The commentator is lost to memory but the off-hand U. S. references got to me several Olympics ago, and so haven’t watched since. A pox on the networks and the Communist News Network as well.
What is the point of all this self-hatred by the media and academia? What is the expected outcome? I embarrassed myself and my table in front of dozens of mega wealthy on a cruise ship a couple of years ago. A relative began lecturing me about American war crimes in the Philippines during the Second World War. She had attended a three-credit course at the U of Oregon, Portland, taught by a Philippine national of which the entire content focused on that subject. Jesus Christ on a bicycle. I don’t regret a second of my response/tirade. In the end, however, the facts didn’t change her view of the U. S. at all.

iowavette on August 8, 2008 at 4:35 pm

I don’t like to see the US chastized, so to speak by these TV hacks either, but the Olympics is such a farce that I don’t symphatize very much with the athletes either. No one in their right mind would breathe Chinese ‘air’ without a very good facemask. The fact that the US personnel are willing to compete without facemasks means that they put getting along with these Chinese bast—s ahead of their own health. What will they do, sue China when they come down with lung disease? Of course the PC Olympics and whoever follows Bush would never let that happen, just like they generally don’t support suing foreign terrrorist governments over their crimes.

c f on August 8, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I have never supported the unconditional support for whomever national athletes, and always have been repulsed when I see it from the fans of whatever country. There are plenty, too much plenty, USA athletes who are highly unpleasant thugs. No reason to support them. It’s much more noble to support the best one, both for his or hers athletic quality and/or for his or her moral quality. But support whatever human garbage just for the reason that he or she shares with me the same citizenship – it’s just stupid.
Paul Hamm’s unjust medal last Olympics irritated me much more than his just 4th place (which must be correct if the justice would be served). It is very low to support this unjust victory and cry on all corners about it when my heart clearly whispers that his medal is wrongly awarded. Because for the real athlete it is much better to suffer honorable loss than dishonest win.
This is just my dissent opinion, no pressure to anybody. Tastes are different.

DonParry on August 9, 2008 at 12:14 am

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