1.14.2014

Team USA, My Ass

Quite frankly, I'm not surprised Mirai Nagasu got robbed; I watched Skate Canada 2013 last year and knew it was a foreshadowing of horrible things to come.

I actually watched the whole competition and was initially intrigued by Team USA; there are a lot of Asian Americans on "Team USA" (there were even more in the 2012-2013 batch).  But I couldn't help but notice right away how most of them were banished to Teams B & C, and the Reserves (along with other skaters with "unconventional" last names).

Now, during Skate 2013, I paid close attention to the female skaters in particular. Right away, I noticed Christina Gao (who used to be on Team A, and now is nowhere to be found).





And while she was skating, all I heard from the commentators was "Mistake, mistake, mistake; deduction, deduction, deduction." Not to mention, the overall response to her was lukewarm; she got some claps and few roses. Notice that not once did she fall in either routine.

Mind you, a lot of folks fell that day (the men in particular couldn't stay on their feet). The most perfect routine was done by the youngest skater, Julia Lipnitskaya of Russia who got treated like, well, a Russian, earning zero roses at the end of her performance despite her exceptional work and the fact that like Christina, she didn't fall.



And then came this chick, Gracie Gold. Now all through the competition, she was all the commentators could talk about, as though everyone else was filler and she was the main reason for Skate Canada 2013. She came, the Americans went wild, she skated, and she fell.





She lacks the ethereal grace and lovely poise of Christina. She has nowhere near the flexibility or precision of Julia. She made mistakes, and got praise during her mistakes. Even the commenters on YouTube were more critical than the so-called professionals. But Gracie's still Team A, and Christina Gao is nowhere to be found, even though according to Wikipedia, she finished the 2012-2013 season ahead of Gracie Gold, and finished 4th at Skate Canada 2013 (Gracie finished 3rd).

Like Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold is an All-American sweetheart, and an official contender for the Olympics.

If the stories of Mirai (love that name!!!) and Christina sound familiar, it should.  Remember Gabby Douglas?  Remember how she was ignored in favor of Jordan Wieber, the Great White Hope back in the 2012 Summer Olympics?  Remember who brought home the gold???

I remember that after Gabrielle Douglas achieved international fame and made history, journalists couldn't wait to talk about how she'd often performed better than Jordan in the competitions leading up to the Olympics, but she'd still been ignored.

Some people would argue that it's not just about athletics; it's about "draw" and "appeal".  It's about marketing strategies and popularity.  Yeah, um...you mean hype.  You mean a manufactured image.  Christina Gao has proven herself time and again with little support, but she's not the one with the endorsements.

So for all the white feminists clamoring for women of color to fall in line and "unite" with them, I got non-news for you: it ain't gonna happen.  It ain't gonna happen because bullshit like this continues to happen.  Because you want it to happen.  Because you help make it happen.  And yes, it matters each and every single time it happens.

Keep in mind that while the Americans were impatiently waiting for their white girls, Patrick Chan couldn't take two steps without his fellow Canadians losing their minds.





And that's how you support an athlete who's representing your country.

See Also

Brown Girls on Ice

But What About the Brown Girls?
Because
The Bar Loves Lauren Hernandez

10 comments:

  1. Leo Princess1/14/14, 11:31 PM

    "If the stories of Mirai (love that name!!!) and Christina sound familiar, it should. Remember Gabby Douglas? Remember how she was ignored in favor of Jordan Wieber, the Great White Hope back in the 2012 Summer Olympics? Remember who brought home the gold???"

    Mmmhm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Olympics are rigged! Sorry. The "winners" are hyped up before they even start and when it doesn't work out stuff like this happens or commentators go on and on about what went wrong ignoring those who did win. Remember the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding fiasco years ago. Michelle Kwan was SUPPOSED to go, but they sent Nancy who didn't even compete because they said she had the best chance for the gold. Which went to Oskana Buial Of course Nancy was mad (yes she threw major shade for not winning the gold) about this. Never mind she was banging her married coach.

    But I'm noticed this trend in all the big sports. When Kim Yu-na won at the last Olympics everyone said she was a shoo in. Commentators actually said that judges hold the highest scores for the top skaters. So if someone skates a perfect routine it doesn't matter because the "stars" are going to get the highest points. While I thought she did well I thought her routine was dull and boring. Skaters before her killed it, but scored low for 'slight' mistakes.

    Track and field. Who can forget the Hope Solo mess? But ever notice how certain countries always make it to the final. The countries with the money. Money drives the Olympics.


    Winners are predetermined and marketing campaigns are built around them.

    Side note Aja Evans, Jazmine Fenlator, and Lauryn Williams, (sisters) are on the US Bobsledding team. Of course so is Lolo Jones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leo Princess1/15/14, 8:56 PM

      "Of course so is Lolo Jones."

      Oh yes...I remember when they were hyping her up in the US media in the build up to the 2012 Summer Olympics. All that turned out to be for naught.

      Delete
    2. And now they're being rigged in such a way to prevent a Gabby Douglas from happening again. Just bar them pesky colored girls from participating at all.

      This why when I watch the Olympics, I almost never root for Americans.

      Delete
  3. Why do all this reminds of the days when Debbie Thomas and Surya Bonaly..the best of the best especially Surya. Even the audience loved what she ( Surya) did,but like Mirai, got robbed no matter how do she was. They tried to downgrade her flips on the ice as " improper",but I liked it. It was different and entertaining.

    Far as the " appeal" I guess they're not man or woman enough to say " The White people want ( name) ". Im like this appeal to me means doing something different,not the same old thing or an athlete having obstacles and is able to over come them. I liked Gabby Douglass, Debby, Surya, Usain Bolt and Oscar Prestorius ( before he was implicated in the murder of his girlfrend) because of their appeal in what they did and being minorities it's a double blessing. I like people that offer something different as well as the audience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't forget Dominique Dawes!

      Delete
  4. " While I thought she did well I thought her routine was dull and boring. Skaters before her killed it, but scored low for 'slight' mistakes."

    I agree. I was watching that Olympics and thought Mao Asada should have won with her Masquerade waltz and the Bells of Moscow, but no. Yu-na's routine was boring and I switched channels in between.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, um...you mean hype. You mean a manufactured image...So for all the white feminists clamoring for women of color to fall in line and "unite" with them, I got non-news for you: it ain't gonna happen. It ain't gonna happen because bullshit like this continues to happen. Because you want it to happen. Because you help make it happen. And yes, it matters each and every single time it happens.

    Girl, yes to alladis. YAAAAS! I quit watching the Olympics a while back because I just got tired of the bullshit. And now it's like, there has to be a speshul snowflake that is America's "best chance at the gold," regardless of whether that hoe can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    In the words of Willy Wonka, "GOOD DAY SIR!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. When asked about the decision to select Wagner over Nagasu, Gold expressed her sympathy and simply wished that there were more spots available.

    “I really wish that we had four or five spots going to Sochi,’’ Gold said on TODAY. “It’s so hard just to have three. The ladies’ field in the U.S. is so deep, and they’re all wonderful skaters. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. I’m really good friends with Ashley and Mirai, and so we talked and we hugged and we cried, and it’s been a long journey for everybody.”
    (Source)

    Sure...just like Caroline Wozniacki is "really good friends" with Serena Williams.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Leo Princess1/18/14, 9:02 PM

    Just came from Twitter and saw a lot of Asians rallying support for Nagasu. - rallying HARD, too. Ruh-roh...looks like that whole Docile Model Minority Myth just got a few more whacks with a sledge hammer.

    ReplyDelete

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