… and the Statue of Liberty cried…

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The summer Olympics have now come and gone.  I watched some of it most days, although usually on  youtube – it’s so great to be able to “rewind” at will!  It’s also exciting to see someone come from behind and win – or at least place.  The race in this video is the 1500 meters – all I know is, it’s four times around the track.  In my day, once around the track was 440 yards, and four times was 1 mile.   Meters – fugetaboutit!

If you watched the video above, you saw a great performance. Leo Manzano (one of the USA runners) is in this final race of 12 runners.  For most of the race, he appears to be around 10th place, and then you see he has moved into sixth place.  However, once they ring the bell when the first runner is starting the last lap, he starts REALLY moving.  This guy actually passes four runners and at the very last moment he moves into 2nd place and wins the silver!  That’s one heck of a kick at the end!

It’s not on the video, but afterwards – well, IMO, he just ruins it.  He runs around the track to celebrate – carrying TWO flags.  Says he’s proud he could represent his TWO COUNTRIES.

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So what’s this guy’s backstory?  Well, this guy’s parents came here illegally when he was 4 years old.  At some point, he becomes a citizen – dual citizenship, of course.  He goes through his entire schooling – grade school, middle school, high school, college – in the U.S.  He’s a runner from an early age, representing his – American – high school and college.  He qualifies to join the US Olympic team.  I mean, c’mon, the guy is an AMERICAN!  You want to think of yourself as being Mexican, a place you lived in before you can even remember?  A place your parents wanted to leave?  Fine, that’s YOUR issue, but if you are representing the US, you are running FOR the US!  Mexico sure didn’t pay for ANY thing for this guy over his life, and they sure didn’t train him.  They didn’t provide that jersey he’s wearing that says USA!
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For heaven’s sake, I lived in Brooklyn until I was 3 years old.  Of course, I don’t remember it, just as I’m sure he can’t remember living in Mexico.  My parents were born and raised in Brooklyn, and are very proud of it – but I don’t go around saying I’m a Brooklynite! (I understand it used to be different in Brooklyn than it is now.  It used to have a tree growing there, but I think the hoodlums populating the place now have urinated on the tree and it died!)

I think this writer put it very well:

Some people will insist that this is Manzano’s choice to make, that it was his sweat and sacrifice that got him to London, and this was his victory to celebrate however he saw fit. Those people are wrong. They’re focused on the individual. But the last thing the Olympics is about is the individual.

It’s about being part of a team — the U.S. Olympic team. It’s about national pride, not ego. Manzano wasn’t there to compete for himself but to represent his country. All he had to do was decide which country that was. He chose not to choose.

What am I missing? Where were the Italian-American athletes waving the Italian flag, or the Irish-Americans waving the Irish flag? I didn’t see that.

Well, I’m out-of-state (still in the US!) visiting  my mom right now, so I’m going to have her write a few guest-writer words on this subject!  Here’s my mom:

When I win an Olympic race, I won’t be strong enough to carry a flag for each country to which I can trace my roots. I would need to wear a green hat for Ireland, a plaid kilt for Scotland, a Swiss watch, and carry a beer stein from Germany. But that would be a slap in the face to America, the land that has given me so much all my life.

And pity The Statue of Liberty who watched the Olympic races and wondered how, even if she were to put down her torch, she could possibly carry a flag for every nation that had sought solace and shelter in her shadow. Then she realized that there was only one flag to which all those people owed a lifetime of gratitude. She marveled at how well Manzano had been trained in America and how well he had performed in the race.

The Statue of Liberty’s only regret was the fact that he had to stop running, because otherwise he might have gotten to Mexico by now!

Signed, lorac’s mom (PS – since I see my daughter now spells the name I gave her at birth backwards, I want you to know that I’m spelling MY name – “mom” – backwards here, too!)

38 Responses

  1. As always, great post lorac. And how cool to hear from your Mom!
    Yours truly,
    ynohtnA

  2. Some of us mongrels would have to carry a ton of flags if we felt the need to parade our geneology via a flag, Methinks the guy may have confused ethnicity with country but it would have served his gesture better if he just wore a “made in Mexico” button. Flags have a special country meaning.

    Thanks for this, lorac.

  3. Hugs from one “Mom” to another! Amen and AMEN!
    When I was coming up we never heard things like”Irish American” “German American” Scots American (Lorac’s Mom and I seem to share a bit of heritage lol) I distinctly remember asking, in the presence of my off the boat from Scotland Nana, what we “were.”
    Nana rarely snapped at us- but she snapped that day. She replied “You are AMERICAN.”
    That young man ran a good race- but his mind has apparently been warped. Is it the difference two or three generations can make? For in Nana’s day people came to America to BE Americans. They left all their loyalties to the “auld country” IN the old country. Sure there was sadness at leaving one’s home and friends and terror of the unknown. They made a leap of faith to get here- for whatever might happen here -it was in many many millions of cases going to be a far sight better than what they were leaving.
    I can only hope and pray that someone sits that young man down and explains to him the grave insult he heaped upon this country that has given him so much.
    (ps- everyone make sure you check out mcnormans post below- don’t miss it for a reminder of what brought US all together in this new land of Uppity’s Great Room.)

  4. I have spent a large portion of the summer tracing my roots through Ancestry.com. (No, this is not an advertisement for them!!!) I discovered that not only am I a mongrel, but a thoroughly American mongrel. My ancestors came here before the Revolutionary War in several cases. Some of them fought in that war. I also discovered that i had a great-great-great-great-great grandmother that was a full-blooded Cherokee Native American. So please, love this land and give it your loyalty or leave. My people came from all over the world and grew this nation. They planted the seeds of democracy and liberty, watered them, weeded them, nurtured them and died for them. When you fail to show respect to my nation, you fail to show respect to my entire family tree.

    Learn the language. Folks, we don’t speak English here. We speak American!! We pronounce the worlds differently and we sure as heck spell them differently!! While learning Spanish has certainly broadened my world (I can now pick out words when people are speaking it together in my hearing) I never intended to learn to speak Spanish this way. My knowledge of Spanish has been mostly forced upon me, albeit some from my children who had to take Spanish in school. The rest of it? Duel spelling on packaging and brochures. If you have the slightest smattering of logical ability you, too, can learn Spanish this way. Might not pronounce it correctly, but you can sure learn to read it!! A little Latin helps, but hey, that’s easy too. Just get a copy of the Latin Mass from the Roman Catholic church. If you go to a Latin or Spanish Mass you can even learn how to pronounce the words correctly. Sigh.

    Finally, we as Americans have always been very good at accepting the differences of others. We take people in, give them a home, let them grow to be the person they are meant to be, whether we like it or not. All we ask is that you put us first and abandon your past. It’s our tradition. All of our ancestors did it. We expect no less of this generation of new Americans.

  5. Yeah, I’m an immigrant and I don’t get that – it was disloyal to his team, imo. It would have been different if he were on the Italian team (which I’m thinking he could have applied to, probably – my home country had a team member from a diff country).

  6. You bring up a good point lorac. Is the Olympics about personal achievement? Seems that way. There was endless chatter about Michael Phelps and would he break the record of gold medals. Even when he participated in relays, a team effort, his gold counted toward his record count. But on the other hand, they represent our country and as you say, wear USA on their clothing….the Star Spangled Banner plays as Old Glory is hoisted up in the air. In addition to the individual count, there was a running account of the medals won for each country, (we trailed China for most of the games, until track and field.) I guess it’s both. An individual who achieves representing a country.

  7. This ass is not a country. He was four when he left Mexico.I’ll bet that doesn’t have the slightest idea of what the word “assimilation” means.

    He should go back to Mexico. I suggest that he train where the cartels shoot automatic weapons (in order to improve his time) so that he can take gold for Mexico next time around. What a fool!

  8. I suspect that the few minutes of feeling “proud” will prove the be a very expensive few minutes. He is now a “toxic property” for sponsors and product endorsements.

  9. It was a slap in the face of the US olympic team and our country as a whole. This is simply the fruition of multiculturalism and political correctness that has infested our society for decades now.

    True immigrants of generations past would be appalled. Kudos to your mom lorac! I completely agree with her.

  10. FYI –

    Upcoming JWS Blog Talk Shows
    8/22/12 : Voting, smoting. Tamerlane, Lynne, myself and YOU – discuss voting and the politics of the day. Tonight Anthony joins us! All shows start at 6pm Pacific.

  11. Trying again:

    FYI –

    Upcoming JWS Blog Talk Shows
    8/22/12 : Voting, smoting. Tamerlane, Lynne, myself and YOU – discuss voting and the politics of the day. Tonight Anthony joins us! All shows start at 6pm Pacific.

  12. Trying to see if I’m still in spam

    Guess not.

    FYI-

    John Smart has invited me to be a guest on his radio broadcast tonight. The topic is voter fraud. Just thought I’d share the news in the event anyone is interested

  13. LOl Anthony- Your turn in Spam today? It happens. MKBill usually gets me about once a month.

  14. No problem PMM. Just edited my comment. Delete the spam

  15. Anthony- was it a link that put you there? You can rescue yourself from Spam- I pick the lock and let myself out all the time lol.

  16. No. PMM. It was from John Smart’s site, letting people know I’ll be a guest on tonight’s broadcast. The topic is voter fraud.

  17. I’ll never forget or forgive the booing the US national soccer team received when it played Mexico in LA. There’s a citizenship test I can get behind for sure. (Some of the players remarked it was like Mexico was the home team.)

  18. Killer post, lorac!
    Hello to lorac’s mom — we love you too!

  19. Lissen up, lorac — Except for team sports, the Olympics are all about individual glory and the celebration of the individual athlete. Thus it has always been: think of ancient Greece. The whole nations-focus is jingoistic and interferes with the celebration of athleticism.

    That said, that young man should be flogged for running the Mex. flag with ours. As an immigrant I have one message: Love America or leave her. Period.

  20. Now I know all y’all gonna be surprised to hear that I used to be a 100m. star in school. My personal record was 100 meters in 12 secs…..not bad, eh? (It has all been downhill since then…)

  21. ONE MORE THING —

    This place is, and always has been, a home to me. That I have a lot of affection for the BlogMistress is not a secret. But, know that I also come here for all of you — of you I am very fond.

    THAT’S ALL. CARRY ON.

  22. Lorac. I greatly enjoyed your post, especially the words of wisdom from your Mom.
    PMM. I also enjoyed the music in the “breathe” posting.

    I hope that all the Uppities and Uppity are doing just fine.

  23. My Mom sends her greetings to loracs mom along with all the rest of the moms here. She laughed that my dad gave me a first name that works as a palindrome, just like MoM. Not that Dad had that in mind. He thought that since variations of the name are popular on both sides of the family everyone would assume I was named after someone from their branch and all would be happy. Oddly enough,it worked.

  24. I admit I did not watch one minute of the Olympics this year. NBC’s approach to scheduling and even worse, their commentators and commercials drive me crazy. Since I could not get my fix via Canada this time, I just skipped it altogether and read up on events online (not at NBC or any affiliate).

    I have always seen the games as sort of a combination of individual and team efforts regardless of the event so one expects a bit of grandstanding. However, the little multiple flags stunt caught my eye on the BBC feed. Quite frankly, I think they should just have cut the cameras on his little temper tantrum and not indulged the child.

    If he did not wish to represent the US, perhaps he should have asked to run under the Olympic flag.

  25. THAT’S ALL. CARRY ON.

    lmao you’re a doll!

  26. You weren’t alone Mt Laurel. I didn’t watch any of it either.

  27. America, the land that has given me so much all my life

    Pity so many people who come to this country seem to overlook everything America gives them, or paves the way for them,or significantly facilitates for them.

    Ya never know how good things are until it’s suddenly gone.

    That runner forgot which country actually set the stage and provided everything for him in order to achieve his dream of winning an Olympic race.

  28. lorac, carol, mom, mom, forwards then backwards.
    Well that certainly clears up a lot.
    Thx to Momma Lorac the Brooklynite who has given us lorac to entertain us on Wednesdays.

    And any other time lorac comments. 🙂

  29. Great post, lorac and lorac’s Mom. I agree with the sentiments expressed here. The achievement is for the individual but the honor is to the country that sent you. They parade in alphabetically by country, not by last names.

  30. SophieCt- THAT! YES! Individual achievement (and their name in the record books for posterity) and honor to the country.

  31. I’m an immigrant who became a US citizen in 2007 and am damn proud of my adopted country despite electing both Dubya and Barry as POTUS. Manzano is just an effing a-hole.

  32. “…. a slap in the face of America” sums it up pretty well. Great post lorac.

    no empty suits – way to go!

  33. Thanks free spirit! Good to see you. Call me NES.

  34. lorac, awesome post, and loved your Mom’s piece. I remember seeing that at the time. It was ridiculous.

    Loved all the comments also; Sophie @ 8:49, great point.

  35. Have you ladies seen this one? Doesn’t go so much for this post but some of the posts of the last couple of days.

  36. fredster, love it!

  37. HT put it up over at TW so I wanted to share!

  38. I have beans and San Marzanos tp put up this morning- will catch you all up later

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