Goose meet gander

Apropos of Becky Hammon playing for Russia comes this article from The New York Times about all the foreign nationals that are playing for the US Olympic squad:

Marching into Beijing Stadium under the American flag this August will be a kayaker from Poland, table tennis players from China, a triathlete from New Zealand, a world-champion distance runner from Kenya and a gold-medal-winning equestrian from Australia.

Though I am shocked, SHOCKED to my core, that an Australian would desert our fine country to play for another nation especially when they’re a good shot a gold medal. How are we going to keep coming third in the Olympics despite our small population if the big countries steal all our Olympians? Huh? Way to take your tax-payer funded training and give the benefits to the peoples what didn’t pay those taxes!

Um, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, if it’s fine for the US to have representatives from other nations than it’s fine for USians like Becky Hammon to represent a different nation. And, er, I guess that goes for Australia too, what’s had any number of foreign nationals represent it over the years.1

  1. Wow, that was really hard to write. []


  1. rebecca on #

    i have no problem with other players going over to different countries, especially if they’ve been denied a spot on their home country’s team which they arguably deserve. (not that i pretend to know much of anything at all about sports this year. or, um, ever, really. :P)

    but it does perplex me just a tiny bit. i mean, why are the olympics divided up according to country at all if the athletes can be citizens of elsewhere? i don’t know how else you’d divide it up, really. and it works because of the dual citizenship thing, right?

    gah, i dunno. it seems that the competitions are much more about the individuals than the countries they play for. creating teams according to country is a convenient way to divide things up and decide who you’re cheering for, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. which, i guess is what the olympics are about–bringing countries together and surpassing boundaries and all that. or something. i mean, i cheer on athletes from plenty of different countries, regardless of who they’re actually playing for or where they’re from. so in some weird way, this all makes sense.

    *rambles* πŸ˜›

  2. Jude on #

    I use USians as well because Americans is just *wrong* but then I am one–a USian. It’s a much more logical term.

  3. Justine on #

    Rebecca: Professional athletes often move away from their country to pursue their career. Good Australian soccer players have long played in Europe. It’s like any profession really. Sometimes you have to go overseas to have the best opportunities/make the most money. I have Australian friends who’ve worked in the US in the visual effects industy, IT, law, academia. All of them doing a lot better than they would at home. It’s a small country and the opportunities are (usually) proportional to its size.

    Sport is no different. Except that the hopes and dreams of an entire nation can ride on you. No one back home in Australia is holding their breath about how some Aussie academic is doing. On the other hand, no one’s accusing them of being a traitor either.

  4. Dave Hogg on #

    The Olympics will be made up of corporate-sponsored teams within 20 years. You’ll have Cathy Freeman, Michael Phelps and Olga Korbut all competing for the Nike team.

    Well, not them specifically – Olga Korbut is like 206 years old – but that level of athlete.

  5. rebecca on #

    the traitor stuff is bullshit. what’s odd to me is the emphasis placed on who plays for what country, b/c it doesn’t seem to matter in the end. i couldn’t care less what country becky hammon plays for, as long as she’s playing. πŸ˜› i mean, yeah i’d be happy if she was playing for the u.s., but really, it doesn’t make any difference to me. i will cheer for her and for all my favorite athletes regardless. πŸ˜€ but then, this is coming from someone who isn’t particularly proud to be a usian–in fact, i’m downright embarrassed by it at times.

    “The Olympics will be made up of corporate-sponsored teams within 20 years.”

    oh hell. no. really? REALLY? argh.

  6. Gabrielle on #

    Haha, you sound like those Australians you once blogged about who complained about taxes when you told them you got money to do research from the government.

  7. Camille on #

    I use USians as well because Americans is just *wrong* but then I am one–a USian. It’s a much more logical term.

    LOL — I have no problem extending the term “American” to the rest of the residents of our lovely landmass(es) here. However, it does not make me any less of an American too. Ponder it! πŸ˜€

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