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LET’S MAKE THIS CLEAR: I DO SUPPORT our OLYMPIC ATHLETES! I WANT THEM TO WIN! BUT…DO IT RIGHT!

I have written and posted some hard-hitting posts on the Olympics.  I like to use words and phrases to get people to read and think (My hero and role model for this is William Lloyd Garrison the abolitionist agitator and he had tough words to say about a number of issues) such as “sports imperialism” and I cannot root for the basketball teams and other pro athletes.  Things like:  The men’s basketball team does not represent me.

But let’s make it clear:  I support our Olympic athletes.  It is an honor to wear the uniform of the USA.  I want them to do well and to win.  But I cannot support or approve how pros got into the Games and they ought to be removed.  I would openly root for another country (provided it is not too odious a nation) in a men’s basketball game to make a point in the same way that Garrison once burned the Constitution in public to make the point that the original Constitution did condone slavery. But the Constitution does not condone human bondage anymore, thank God, and it is a better document for it.  We can do the same for the Olympics.

I feel the real solution is not protests but simply decide:  Not one cent for the USOC.  Give money if you must to a local amateur Olympian or to a sport you love or want to see do well.  Here’s US badminton‘s website for example.  I was pretty impressed with the turnout in the last Winter Games – we won and did well in sports we generally do terrible in:  Nordic CombinedBobsled!  Even curling, which did not medal (they did in 2006), I was told came very close and had several heart-breakingly close losses.  Wasn’t that fun to do well in a sport we did not normally do well in?  When the US ladies shared the entire podium in women’s sabre last Olympics, I took an American flag and cheered outside in the front yard like a crazy man (some readers might say I blog like a crazy man – they might be right!) for what seemed like a hour!  Sweep the medals in a fencing event at the Olympics?  Just a few years ago I’d said a third party will win the Presidency first!  That’ll never happen again – or will it?  Stay tuned…USA is now a fencing power.  That still doesn’t sound right but it sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  That is one reason I helped start curling in Richmond – to bring the Olympic dream to our area in a new way!  (BTW, my blogs on any issue, sports or politics, do not in ANY WAY reflect or represent the Curling Club of Virginia, in fact I am no longer president of CCVa.)

So, I am a proud American.  But as a follower of Christ who knows God is no respecter of persons and heaven will have people from every tongue, tribe and nation (people group), I will always be sensitive to the other nation’s feelings.  I do not want to crush the spirit of another nation.  Their team is the pride of that nation, too.  I feel for those who barely miss the medal podium.  I do not want the Olympic Games changed into just another reality TV show where the major sports are dominated by the major powers.   So I cannot support the pro athletes in the Games.  I will always bring forth the underdog position.  I still believe pro athletes in the Olympics is sports imperialism.  I still believe it hurts the dignity of the smaller nations.  I still believe my nation is exceptional and One Nation Under God, established in some part to make sure the Gospel got proclaimed throughout the known world, and because I do, I expect a higher standard for its behavior.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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