August 24, 2004


Olympic revelations

I must admit that during the 100 meter dash championship, in the 2004 Athens Olympics, I was rooting for the Jamaican sprinter, over the American sprinters. At first I was rooting for the Americans, but their pompous displays kind of irked me. However, it was not until the sports commentator mentioned that the Jamaican Sprinter was wearing a necklace with the colors of red, black, green and gold. The sprinter fully embraced and symbolized the meaning of those colors in representing the plight and struggle of African people, as well as the people and nation of Jamaica. At that point, I was rooting for the Jamaican over the Americans, however, he finished in forth place and without a medal.

I also found myself rooting for the African Athletes. If anyone has the proclivity of having compassion and support for the underdog, then one has to pull for the Africans. I recently read an article about the Ugandan boxing team barely being able to afford to send their athletes to the Olympics, let alone send them there weeks in advance to train and get acclimated to the climate and conditions as the US and other teams did. Instead, there coach instructed them to train in coats (in the Ugandan heat) to prepare them for the conditions in Greece. This is generally the case of most African Athletes in the Olympics. They simply do not have the funds and facilities to properly train their athletes.

I think that the Olympics provides a venue that allows the revelation of ones group hierarchies, in regards to nationality, ethnicity, race, religion and class. For me, I have not ubiquitously rooted for the Americans in their competition. One can summarize my highest loyalties to be in regards to race; however, that is not really accurate. A more accurate umbrella would be that I am for the underdog. In head to head competition between black athletes, who I pull for has more to do with their social background and attitudes. This is why I rooted for the Jamaican, because his Pan African leanings were made evident. I tend to support those nations and individuals whose background is that of the underdog. Unfortunately, this leads me to be racial in my support most often, due to the circumstances of black people in this world.

Also, I must admit that when the national anthem is played for America, after an athlete wins the gold, and the flag is hoisted, I do not get all warm inside from pride. Here we are the richest nation on earth, with top notch training facilities. Other nations, such as those in Africa and the Caribbean, on the other hand are too poor create the condition conducive for their athletes to compete on the world stage. This is why the Kenyans and Ethiopians do so well in Distance running. That is probably the one sport that does not require special facilities and equipment. All one has to do is run, which is pretty affordable providing that you have enough food to eat to give you the calories to run.

Who were you rooting for?


At 2:25 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

I was sort of rooting for the Jamacian too, though I really didn't care one way or the other. After being hyped as the winner-in-advance, "the guy that beat Maurice Green three times", etc. it was pretty sad to see how he took it.

I mean... his expression was one of disbelief and disappointment at the same time and it just looked like he was at a loss...

As far as the Americans are concerned...
At least the less flambouyant of the two won. However, I was getting sick of the announcers trying to make a crime scene out of their overzealous displays. I think the announcers went over the line and the runners may have barely pushed up against it.

Also, eventhough I think Mo. Green could beat those two brothers in his sleep when it comes to over doing his displays of Ego, I think its a credit to him that he can maintain his speed and competitiveness after breaking his leg (or whatever) no matter how slight it was. (I thought something like that made it too hard to maintain...)

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

I have only watched the Gymnastics and some of the swimming. I am not all that interested in these Games but I would have liked to seen the track field portion.


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