As the world watches our greatest winter athletes gather in South Korea for an international competition of epic proportions I have a small, possibly unpopular request to the dedicated Americans headed to South Korea for the Olympic Games: Leave the U-S-A chants at home.
To be clear, I have absolutely nothing against the team spirit and national pride that I know inspires these chants. We have spirit, yes we do, and we don’t need to incessantly shout our country’s name at the 91 other countries participating in the games to prove it.
Remember the summer of the vuvuzela? Remember all of the horrible things you wanted to do to those plastic noisemakers? Do you see where I’m going with this?
I know it’s a lot of fun to get in a big group of like-minded people and shout the same thing. I get it…and as Americans, we’re really good at it. But that’s not what the Olympic Games are about.
Yes, the games celebrate athletic excellence, but their primary goal is to promote international friendship and fair play (seriously, it’s in the charter). And I really hate to bring politics into this arena, but the U-S-A chant does not look good on us right now.
We are awesome, we are. We are also one nation in a whole world of competitors and it never hurts to be good sports.
So, U.S. Olympic fans, bring your enthusiasm, bring your spirit, bring your support, just remember that winning isn’t everything, and respect for our global community can go an awfully long way.