Born & Raised In The U.S. & Competing On Team Russia

The Olympics are as much about country and patriotism as they are competition. Or are they?

The Olympics are as much about country and patriotism as they are competition.  Or are they?

Anyone familiar with the Olympics at all knows the former Soviet Union has been a major rival over the years.   The U.S. Olympic Hockey Team victory over the U.S.S.R. in 1980 lead to our first gold medal in that sport.

Fast-forward 28 years.  WNBA star Becky Hammon, who was born and raised in South Dakota, will play for Russia in the Beijing Games.  Hammon has said she thought the U.S. wasn't interested in having her.  USA Basketball says when officials did invite her she declined.

Hammon is not alone in what some call country-hopping.  It has happened before and is happening again.  There are many Americans competing on foreign teams and many foreigners competing on U.S. teams. 

Somehow to me, making the Olympics only about competition and losing loyalty to your country, no matter what country you're from, takes away some of the luster, spirit and magic of the games.


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  • by William Location: A/P Peninsula on Jul 1, 2008 at 04:18 AM
    I agree, Dave. If a competitor isn't really a native or an established citizen of their representative country, the whole essence of the games is lost.

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