As disappointing as it was to see the U.S. collect 15 fewer gold medals than China, American athletes’ performances outside their respective playing surfaces won a far greater portion of my disappointment.
For a three-week window, during which these athletes had the greatest audience listening to their every word, all went silent. American athletes stated that the Olympics were neither the time nor place for politics, referencing the genocide in Darfur.
The Olympics should be the world’s greatest forum. The only thing having no place should be violence. So, whoever started the ruckus in Georgia is really the only one being impolite, but that’s an argument for another day.
The First Amendment allows any one citizen to speak out without having to reflect the opinions of the government, or of all citizens. This is why U.S. athletes missed the golden opportunity to show support for Darfur, having been given the ability to speak out without putting the U.S., as a whole, into any sort of conflict with other nations.
Despite earning 110 medals, the, U.S. failed to succeed in the challenge more important than sport, in which human lives, rather than medals, are at stake.