Winning hearts and minds through athletics


Anti-Americanism has grown steadily since the end of the Cold War. A large part of this is resentment towards American economic success; some of it is resentment toward Hollywood's slime machine (no argument there).

An overlooked cause of anti-Americanism is our success in sports, particularly our surprisingly good showing in the 2002 Winter Games and our stellar medal count in this year's games. Remember a few years ago when the American team did really well in the World Cup? If we had won, we would have been hated with a furious passion by most countries when they realized that most Americans don't even care about soccer.

So to assuage this sentiment against our fine country, I suggest that instead of sending our athletic supermen to Beijing in 2008, we should send our Special Olympics team. Then the rest of the world can high-five each other when they beat the Americans. The Special Olympians will just be happy to compete. Everybody wins, and it advances the national interest. What do you guys think? Do we give them a chance?


I know you meant this in jest, but I don't think it comes off as a nice thing to say about the Special Olympics. Indeed, in comes off as very insensitive.

We shouldn't be going to Peking at all. Unless the PLA is overthrown and Christians are released from the Lao Gai.

We could, I suppose, send our athletes to Taipei, seat of the legitimate, freely elected government of China.

I think we already sent the special olympics basketball team this year.


Their salaries are quite special -- extraordinary, even.

Did I miss something? I thought the NBA players stayed home this time.

For the US to win the World Cup it would take a miracle that makes Miracle on Ice look like a cheap card trick. But, putting that aside, its not so much the athletic success as much as it is the arrogance of some of the so-called sportsmen (the two 100 meter sprinters come to mind).

We did make it to the Cup quarter-finals, which means we were in the top eight teams in the world. And we only lost 1-0 to the #2 team, Germany. Not too shabby.

True. And the other day we tied Jamaica 1-1 by scoring in the last minute (currently ranked No. 54 by FIFA).

Not to mention that we failed to even qualify for the Olympics out of a group that includes such powerhouses as Trinidad and Tobago (we lost out to Mexico and Costa Rica who represented our region, neither of which made it to the semis). The significance of this is that the Olympic tourny allows only 2 or 3 players over the age of 23 on the roster. Thus, this does not bode well for our near future. We also made it to the Semis in I think either the '30s or 40's - team consisted mostly of Irish and Italian immigrants. Point is, our successes appear sporadic, particularly compared to US dominance in other sports.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric Johnson published on August 23, 2004 10:39 PM.

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