Americans are tuning out the Tokyo Olympic games, with viewership down 27%, and one reason for that may be the growing movement to turn athletics into political bullhorns.
But it’s beginning to appear that the most woke athletes who went to Tokyo are returning home the most broke.
The long-believed ''unbeatable'' and largely woke U.S. women’s soccer team suffered a stunning blow when Sweden trounced the Americans 3-0 in its opening game.
The U.S. team bounced back from that loss to win the next two matches, only to lose again to Canada, putting the Americans out of the running for gold. The U.S. will vie for a bronze medal on Thursday.
Afterward, conservative political commentator Candace Owens called U.S. team captain Megan Rapinoe, the loudest and wokest in the team, "an anti-American piece of trash.''
She added, "Any person who disrespects the flag that sons and daughters are sent home beneath while fighting for our freedoms overseas, deserves to lose. Repeatedly.''
Then there’s basketball, another sport in which Americans generally dominate.
The first hit came when LeBron James, arguably the NBA’s most talented player today, opted out. Then Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Jimmy Butler, all NBA stars in their own right, did the same. But even without them, the team consisted of NBA heavy hitters.
It nevertheless lost its opening game against France, 83-76 — France, that was Team USA’s first loss since 2004.
One problem may lie in the fact that the NBA has been more woke (and more anti-American) lately — and that includes Team USA’s coach: Gregg Popovich, who coaches the San Antonio Spurs.
Recently he told The New York Times' Maureen Dowd that the American flag is ''irrelevant'' and ''a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons.'' At a press briefing he told reporters that ''Our country is an embarrassment to the world.''
Why would someone like Popovich be chosen to coach a team that represents the United States — ''an embarrassment,'' according to him?
In individual events, women’s hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned her back to the American flag last month when she came in third during the U.S. trials leading up to the Olympics.
It was her hope to medal in Tokyo for the opportunity to ''represent the oppressed people.'' Berry added, ''That’s been my message for the last three years.''
Opportunity lost. She came in 11th, not even close to medaling.
But not all U.S. athletes are loud-mouthed America-hating louts. A good many of them went to Tokyo with one goal: to represent the country they love to the best of their ability.
When U.S. gymnast superstar Simone Biles bowed out of the gymnastics all-around competition at the last minute, all eyes turned to 18-year-old Sunisa ''Suni'' Lee.
She didn’t disappoint. She walked away with the gold by a razor-thin 0.135 point margin to become the first Asian American to win in that category.
Afterward she spoke of her family — of how her parents couldn’t afford a real balance beam, so her father built her one.
"We both worked for this. He sacrificed everything to put me in gymnastics,'' she said. ''Both my parents really have. This is my family's medal, my medal. My coach's medal. He doesn't get a medal, so I'm dedicating it to all of them."
Then there was Lydia Jacoby, a 17-year-old swimmer from Seward, Alaska (population 2,796), who took the gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in what was a surprise victory — a surprise especially to herself.
Her second event was the 400-meter mixed medley relay, where her trademark hot-pink goggles slipped down to her mouth.
She admitted that she was ''definitely panicking a little,'' adding, ''I think my turn was where it was the most rough because I couldn’t see the wall but other than that I feel like I pulled through as best as I could.''
Despite Jacoby turning in a decent time of 1 minute, 5.09 seconds, the team didn’t medal.
She came back, however, to win silver in another team event, the 400-meter medley relay.
When 21-year-old American hurdler Sydney McLaughlin broke the 400 meter world record at last month’s trials, she credited God for her victory. At Wednesday’s main event in Tokyo, she managed to shave another 0.44 seconds off her previous record to come in at 51.46 seconds and win the gold and set yet a new world record.
On Tuesday Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first black American woman in history to win gold representing the United States — and only the second American woman to do so. Afterward, while wrapped in the American flag, she gushed
, "I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there."
Athletes like Rapinoe and Berry, and coaches like Popovich, have yet to learn that Olympic competition, even in individual events, isn’t about themselves — it’s about representing the United States, a country that gave them unparalleled opportunity.
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of U.S. competitors are the Lees, Jacobys, McLaughlins and Mensah-Stocks — the ones who are grateful for the chance to be an Olympian, and proud to represent their country.
They’re the ones that Americans back home root for.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here
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