Do Not Owe Anyone a Gold Medal

I am perplexed by the thought of an eighteen year-old’s statement “do not owe anyone a gold medal.”  This is the response by eighteen year-old Sunisa Lee.  Miss Lee is one of the United States’ gymnasts who earned a silver medal in the team competition. 

I want us adults – let’s say 35 year-olds and older – to really think how to respond to the statement “do not owe anyone a gold medal.”  What we might be able to teach the eighteen year-old, Sunisa Lee.  

One response is – who taught Sunsia Lee that that was even part of the deal?  The deal being:  you (USA athletes) owe us a gold medal.  I certainly do not believe you owe me or the USA a gold medal.  Whomever taught you (Suisa Lee) – you owe people the gold medal needs to be slapped!  Not necessarily literally.  That thinking is WRONG.  

One response is – You (Sunisa Lee) made a statement:  “do not owe ANYONE a gold medal” (my emphasis).  I am actually going to say, “You owe yourself a gold medal.”  During your eighteen years on Earth, living in one of – if not THE – greatest nations in the world, you have worked really hard.  Dedicated a lot of time.  Dedicated a lot of money (I would think you (Miss Lee) paid for lessons / tournaments and such).  Maybe you (Sunisa Lee) meant “earned” opposed to “owe?”  Just giving you (Sunisa Lee) the benefit of the doubt.  

I also would tell you (Sunisa Lee), please do consider all of those who helped you get on that podium.  I would hope you would consider you own them something in return for all the support and sacrifices they made for you.  In the article I share below, I did not see that sentiment. 

Because of these Olympics, my friend in Imalone, Wisconsin and I are learning more and more about the current and future culture of the United States of America.

Women’s apparel:  seems to be an issue.  Issue brought to the forefront of the German gymnastics team, but there goes the USA “lapping” it up!  Jumping on that social issue!  So, again, how we look is as important as results.  Yikes.  What if women enjoy wearing leotards or bikinis?  Now, because they enjoy leotards or bikinis, they are “bad” people?  They “enjoy” the sexualization of the female (heavy heavy sigh).  They are hurting society?  Women’s Rights?  Behind the times?  Don’t ALL women have a RIGHT to choose their clothes?  YES YES YES!!!!!  I do know there are some Olympic regulations about the apparel and yes, WE WILL AGREE that some of the regulations are dated and STUPID! 

Yet, let’s say the Olympics committee says, “Have at it.  Wear what you want as long as your genitalia is covered.”  If the women want to wear leotard / form-fitting / tight-fitting, you would condemn them.  Correct?  Those women who wear those described clothes because IN PART… see themselves looking good in those clothes (Simone Biles said a leotard adds length to her 4’8″ body) and it helps their performance.  A female gymnast in boxer shorts and a loose-fitting tank top – just because the males wear that?  That’s your argument.  Correct?  SIGH…

Politics over results:  As long as we can show our displeasure for our own nation TO THE WORLD, we are winners.  Who cares if we win or lose.  The real victory is using the platform for political issues / gains.  Not the results of how the athlete played the game / performed the sport.  Nope.  We need to stand up for the oppression we (United States of America citizens) are held under (said by athletes wearing Ralph Lauren clothes; Nike apparel made by slave labor in China; have the best meals; most of – IF NOT ALL – expenses paid for by corporations or big donors …… yes… it’s difficult to take the “oppressed-activist-athletes” seriously).

Our coach sucks:  Men’s basketball loses three of their last four games (two of those losses came before the games officially started) and we read the whining and _itching about their coach, instead of accepting responsibility for their playing. 

As of today, July 28, 2021  4:29pm PST … the United States of America is in third place in the gold medal count and FIRST PLACE in overall medals.  We have plenty of more competitions ahead.  Good chance, USA will dominate in track & field.  But, you know what?  Thanks to the show she put on at the awards ceremony for her THIRD PLACE victory in the hammer throw, there are probably folks more interested in what Gwen Berry will do / color of lipstick than, what place she earns.  BLEH!  

Go USA! 

Finally… as I approach the end of my career (this is not the final announcement), I do hope I will teach my students and my students will learn:  BY YOUR COMMITMENT / DEDICATION / FOCUS / SACRIFICE — YOU OWE YOURSELF THE VERY BEST – oh, and by the way – YOU OWE ALL THOSE WHO LOVE YOU / SUPPORT YOU / CARE ABOUT YOU AND IN SOME CASES CARED FOR YOU… YEAH… YOU OWE ALL THOSE YOUR VERY BEST.  And, what is your very best?  GO FOR THE GOLD!  And, if you don’t EARN the Gold medal, please – PLEASE – do what you can to be honest with us.  For example, “I am disappointed I did not earn the Gold Medal and yet, I can assure all of you, including me:  I DID ALL I COULD AND TODAY WAS JUST – ONE OF THOSE DAYS.  I accept 100% responsibility for my performance today.  No one took anything away from me!  No one caused me to not earn the gold medal.  I never deserve my results.  I earn my results!  Thank you!”

That is truly:  GO USA!

Medal Count