Why I'm Not "Team USA"

Lately, I've found myself putting "Team USA" in sarcastic quotes because despite the fact it's supposed to be a team, there's always the Golden (White) Child.

We saw this in particular with Jordyn Wieber and Michael Phelps.

First of all, people have to remember that thousands of athletes busts their asses (literally and figuratively) and damn near bankrupt their families just to get a chance to perform at the Olympics and represent their country.  When Michael Phelps admitted to not training properly for this year, I was like, "WTF???  Privileged much?"

Even worse, his teammate Tyler Clary rightfully called him out on his inconsistent training, and then was somehow branded the villain of the piece.  He even had to apologize to Phelps.  Huh?  How's that make sense now?  When their mutual teammate Lochte properly snatched gold from the jaws of Phelps, there was no hugging, no high-fiving, no congratulations, no nothin'.  The only thing to bring back Phelps' smile was when he snatched gold from Lochte a day or so later.

I mean, what the hell?  What kind of skewed team spirit is that?  It's not the Michael Phelps Show, and how come no one talks about the fact the only reason he has all those medals is that he's a swimmer.  If he were a soccer player or boxer or even a gymnast, he wouldn't have enough events in which to win medals.

Meanwhile, Gabby Douglas has proven time and again she can outscore Wieber.  But that didn't matter before, let's keep it real; the only reason she's getting this much positive attention now is that she snatched - and I do mean just walked in and snatched - the gold.  Her talent, determination, and skill simply can't be denied or debated anymore; she just proved herself to the whole damn world.

And it's not just about Gabby; the commentators really didn't chat about Kyla Ross even though Lil Miss Mixie is BOSS.  What's with the radio silence?  This is a calm, cool, collected teenaged athlete who doesn't shed tears or whine - she just shows up and gets the job done.  Can she get some props?

And don't get me started on Alexandra "Aly" Raisman; talk about hard-working athletes with exemplary team spirit...Aly Raisman has been seriously ignored.  Why?  Is it 'cause she's proudly Jewish and performed her floor routine to "Hava Nagila"?  Is that why the fact she's a bona fide bad-ass gets swept under the rug?

And McKayla "Air" Maroney deserves some more press too. She's an Olympian just like these other ladies, and it's a shame she didn't get to do more than vault. She has phenomenal personality in her floor exercises.

This was supposed be about the Fab Five...you know, the "team".  Yet somehow this turned into Jordyn & the Fab Four. And this is precisely the danger with all these Alpha Male/Alpha Female/Chosen One White Fantasy narratives. America will send its chosen darling to an event like the Olympics and use an entire team of dedicated accomplished athletes as friggin' window dressing.

The gods have mercy on these young ladies, considering what they have to deal with:


  1. I'm in agreement. Haven't watched much Olympic coverage.

  2. I'm so with you in all that you've pointed out.
    NO team unity.

    I mean last I checked, all these athletes come from the same freaking country.
    I was getting so mad when they keep pitting them against each other ex Phelps and Lochte even if it's a friendly competition between them,can we focus on the other swimmers as well.
    I mean hello can they have each others backs and want to win against other countries versu making it an in-house feud of who can get the most medals.
    And this is why the US will never get it right not when we as American viewers feel that they are playing favorites and not showcasing Everyone's skill.

    SMH, wake US, the international world is watching this behavior.

  3. Did you know that Kyla Ross has African ancestry?

    1. Yep. Her dad's Blasian (Black & Japanese), and her mom's a Puerto Rican Filipina.

      Lil Miss Mixie indeed.

  4. I mainly watch the Olympics for the men's gymnastics (reasons that are obvious) and oh okay the men's swimming.

    But I did tune in to see Gabby Douglas flip the script on everybody.

    I didn't realize Clary, Phelps and Lochte were actually competing, I thought these potential suitors were simply getting in speedos and getting all wet simply to audition for me.

    And in other news I see folks are STILL mad at Serena. LOL!!!!

    1. AlexRaventhorne8/5/12, 6:17 PM

      Being mad at Serena is a waste of time. I didn't see her play but saw her dancing after she won a match (don't even know which one). I swear the woman uses other people's hatred as a backdrop to her fabulousity.

    2. Basically they are always mad b/c no matter what happens, she always manages to spank those girls that they are so quick to crown as being the next big thing in tennis. Funny, they all so far have been ine and done and Serena spanked that girl today. Wasn't even a contest and she wasn't breathing hard and wasn't even sweating when they interviewed her right after.

  5. michael phelps is talented, no denying that. he's an amazing athlete, but you're right...it's not just about him. All the athletes deserve major credit just for getting there. My friend swam at the same club as Michael Phelps years back, my friend said he had a HUGE ego. But who can say whether that's true or not.

  6. Ohashi has the potential to be the next gold medalist.
    She looks like the kind of athelet who does what you tell her to do, flawlessly. I will keep my eye out on her for RIO 2016.

    I wish I could get worked up about Phelps, but I barely care to watch the olympics. I Bet the ratings are low this year. Looking out for the 2016 olympics in RIO !!!!!

  7. I know whose team I want to be on:Louis Smith.He's on the British gymnastics and wow......that man was AWESOME!!!If you seen him in action on the pummel horse,you know what I'm talking about.Louis was perfect.He was on that thing and he was just danced on it so beautifully.Ive never seen anything like it. Ill tell you another thing about Louis ..the man looks GOOD!!Good God! the man looks good.I known that hes getting his share of love letters.

  8. Leo Princess8/7/12, 1:18 AM

    I had to go on Facebook to find out that Cullen Jones won a Gold and two Silver medals in his swimming events. Can't even try to pretend to be shocked and dismayed by that.

    1. He did what? I've actually been watching the Olympics and I didn't know that!!!

  9. Just to add to your point...
    LoLo Jones
    "Tearful Lolo Jones: Media 'ripped me to shreds' before race"

    There are even other post of TEAM Mates giving slights after winning metals....its just sad.

  10. Um, the teammates who were "giving slights" were actually frustrated at getting pushed aside b/c no one will point a camera at them without asking them about Lolo. They don't do that ish to anyone else. I don't think they slighted her at all. They were rightfully irked at something that has been happening to them for the past few years (in the case of Dawn Harper, 2008 gold medalist). Sorry, but that would piss me off. One of those two "meanies" won the gold medal in 2008, but I doubt you know that b/c the media gave exactly zero "effs" about talking to or about her at all.

    So yeah, tell me why the dark-skinned black girls are supposed to give up their 15 second EARNED moment in the spotlight for Lolo. The fact that major companies, surprise, surprise, pick a black woman who white people find attractive b/c she looks more like them does not in any way justify the fact that the girls who actually got medals (one for the 2nd time) keep getting ignored.

    And you are doing the same thing to them that everyone is doing...expecting them to cheerfully get in the back of the line behind someone who came in 4th. Sorry, but they don't have to do that. It is 2012.

    I personally don't think you are adding to THIS point but we already know how the media ignored Gabby Douglas for their annointed one, and the media did the same thing and got called out for it but everyone wants to slip around in tears for poor, poor LoLo.

    I'd love to know why they are supposed to take that on the chin from the media yet again...aside from the fact that they aren't as "pretty" as her.


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