25 February 2010


I LOVE THE Olympics. All of them. Always.

Like most Americans, I only watch a lot of the Olympic sports once every four years. It doesn't matter how glued to the television I might be during the women's figure skatng long program tonight, I can guarantee that I will not watch one minute of figure skating until 2014. And the same goes for most of the winter sports. (Although I'm starting to get in to women's biathlon -- mainly because I like the idea of good looking Scandinavian women in tight suits skiing around the woods with guns strapped to their backs -- but that's another story.)

But here's the main reason why I love the Olympics. I get to root for the United States.

The American sports culture doesn't allow for this very often. Our major sports teams rarely compete in international competitions like the Champions League, or the European Championships, or the Six Nations, or the Ashes. There is no USA Football team; there is no USA baseball team (come on, I don't count with baseball world cup -- or whatever it is called), and there is no USA basketball team (except during the Olympics, and eve then no one cares). There are relatively few chances to get behind a national team and cheer them to victory.But during the Olympics I can root for the red, white, and blue.

Look, I wouldn't recognize Lindsey Vonn if she walked into the room wearing her ski suit -- but I get to root for her every time she hits the slopes. I couldn't pick out Shani Davis from a line-up of black speed-skaters -- but I can't wait to see him race. And I look forward to US hockey games about as much as I look forward to any sporting event.

I'm not an overtlyRah-Rah-USA-is-Best kind of guy. I don't own shirts with huge American flags on the front; I don't only 'buy American'; heck, I don't even live in the United States, for goodness sake. But when the Olympics come on my patriotism ratchets up a couple of notches and I rooting for ol' US of A.

I suspect this is not a uniquely American phenomenon.


Anonymous said...

I root for Australia with all my heart. Although there isn't usually much to cheer for in the Winter Olympics.

Corine said...

I am right there with you. I never watch any of those sport either only at the Olympics. I do get happy for the country that hosts the Olympics too when they win a gold because their excitement is sooo contagious.

jennifer said...

Patriotism_hurrah! A real test is observing your kids cheer. With their 3 countries, my 5yr old shouts out, "Go The France!"

meredith said...

I guess that here is where I see that I've become more French than American...I root for "les Français maintenant". Did you see the great feminin ski-cross race?

French for a While said...

I must admit that "Allez France!" has come out of my mouth one or two times -- as long as an American is not in contention.

Shannon said...

CANDA 1-0 USA, I'm with my brand new canadian shirt in front of the TV!

Anonymous said...

Now 2-0 CANADA. Tomorrow is gonna be a loooong day but I wouldn't be a true Canadian if I went to bed at a time like this!!!!!!
Karen (Kerri's friend)

angus said...

What a hockey game!!

The Americans played amazing and it really could have gone either way.

Fortunatley for me, the canucks prevailed!!

Gold Canada Gold!!!!!