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View Full Version : An obeservation about the Olympics and representing your country



mrveggieman
07-11-2012, 09:41 AM
I was watching a game between Nigeria and The Dominican Republic in the olympic qualifying tournament for basketball and the announcer said something that caught my attention. They said that 9 of the players on the Nigerian team were born and raised in the US including the Aminu brothers who are both from Georgia and who's father is from Nigeria but their mother is from NYC. Huh? Also what's up with wnba star Becky Hammond who was born in the US grew up in the midwest and is playing on the russian team? Or how about Hakeen Olajuwon who actually was born and bred in Nigeria but played on the 1996 US olympic team? I'm from the school of thought that you should play for the country that you grew up in and preferrably were born in. I understand that there are cases such as Kyrie Irving who was born in Australia because his dad played pro ball over there but left when he was 2 and grew up in NJ, he should play on the US team when his turn comes up or a US child who was born on a overseas military base can play for the US but other than that play for the country that you grew up in. The Olympics is becoming less about representing your country and more about your own personal showcase. BTW playing for the olympics has nothing to do with agreeing with the policies of your country but showing the world how ball is played where you are from. What are your thoughts?

Star_Cards
07-11-2012, 09:50 AM
my take on it is that some people may play on teams from other countries even when they are raised in the U.S. because they may not be able to make the U.S. team. Hakeem didn't have that issue or maybe he would have done the same. I remember some instances of this when they played the world baseball tournament a few years back. I'm sure there are different motivations for each person.

mrveggieman
07-11-2012, 09:54 AM
my take on it is that some people may play on teams from other countries even when they are raised in the U.S. because they may not be able to make the U.S. team. Hakeem didn't have that issue or maybe he would have done the same. I remember some instances of this when they played the world baseball tournament a few years back. I'm sure there are different motivations for each person.

Yeah A-Rod who was born in Miami did not play for the US, I forgot who he played for and Mike Piazza who was born in Norristown, PA who played for Italy. Yeah I'm sure each of them have different motivations but I still don't think that it is right.

Tivo32
07-11-2012, 11:30 AM
Sometimes I wonder if it's more of a way for these players to connect to their heritage than anything else. I was born in raised in Massachusetts, but both sides of my family are very Italian. I could see wanting to play for or representing Italy as a way of connecting to the heritage in my family or to honor the sacrifice my grandparents and great grandparents made in coming over to this country. I could also see representing the US.

mrveggieman
07-11-2012, 11:46 AM
Sometimes I wonder if it's more of a way for these players to connect to their heritage than anything else. I was born in raised in Massachusetts, but both sides of my family are very Italian. I could see wanting to play for or representing Italy as a way of connecting to the heritage in my family or to honor the sacrifice my grandparents and great grandparents made in coming over to this country. I could also see representing the US.

I feel what you are saying, one could also say that us african americans like myself would want to play for an africian country because of our heritage and what we been throught over time. However although I can respect your italian heritage as well as my own africian heritege I think that since we both were born in the US and spent both of our lives here we should play for the US teams verses the teams for any other country in the olympics.

Wickabee
07-11-2012, 02:10 PM
I always think the same "How can he play for them" during the Olympics, but then I think of Olaf Kolzig.

Born in South Africa, grew up in Canada, had a German passport the entire time. When it came down to it, he always played for Germany. An athlete can play internationally for wherever his passport says he's from. I know in hockey, once you play for one international team, you can't change. Tyler Myers was born and bred in the US, but he holds a Canadian passport and when he played his first international tournament, he played for Canada instead of the US. Now, as far as the International Ice Hockey Federation is concerned, Tyler Myers is Canadian.

*censored*
07-11-2012, 02:27 PM
Multiple-country citizenship clouds everything. Some countries have very loose regulation on who can and can't enter their country or play for their teams.

I know for the WBC, as long as you could prove you had 100% Italian (or Dutch, or whatever) heritage, that's all that mattered. Mark Mulder played for the Netherlands, if I remember correctly.

Likewise, a Jew born and raised in the US can go become an Israeli citizen almost immediately. I went to high school with a guy who is now in the Israeli military. Lived his whole life in the US before that. But yet, a Palestinian born in Israel who leaves can only return as a tourist.

There needs to be one uniform way of deciding things like this for any international sports competitions like this. Allowing multiple-citizenship athletes to pick and choose who they want to play for negatively affects the spirit of the games.

mrveggieman
07-11-2012, 02:41 PM
Multiple-country citizenship clouds everything. Some countries have very loose regulation on who can and can't enter their country or play for their teams.

I know for the WBC, as long as you could prove you had 100% Italian (or Dutch, or whatever) heritage, that's all that mattered. Mark Mulder played for the Netherlands, if I remember correctly.

Likewise, a Jew born and raised in the US can go become an Israeli citizen almost immediately. I went to high school with a guy who is now in the Israeli military. Lived his whole life in the US before that. But yet, a Palestinian born in Israel who leaves can only return as a tourist.

There needs to be one uniform way of deciding things like this for any international sports competitions like this. Allowing multiple-citizenship athletes to pick and choose who they want to play for negatively affects the spirit of the games.

CHURCH!! :love0030::love0030::love0030:

pwaldo
07-11-2012, 03:42 PM
Yeah A-Rod who was born in Miami did not play for the US, I forgot who he played for and Mike Piazza who was born in Norristown, PA who played for Italy. Yeah I'm sure each of them have different motivations but I still don't think that it is right.

That was for the WBC and the purpose of Piazza playing for team Italy was to try and get people excited about a team where baseball isn't popular and make it more competitive against the teams that were stacked with star players. For the infancy of the tournament it makes a lot of sense to do stuff like that so in years time you will be able to field a team of Italians. But right now outside of North America, South America, and Asia there isn't much interest or talent for baseball.

mrveggieman
07-11-2012, 03:51 PM
That was for the WBC and the purpose of Piazza playing for team Italy was to try and get people excited about a team where baseball isn't popular and make it more competitive against the teams that were stacked with star players. For the infancy of the tournament it makes a lot of sense to do stuff like that so in years time you will be able to field a team of Italians. But right now outside of North America, South America, and Asia there isn't much interest or talent for baseball.

I can understand that for baseball but basketball is an international sport with plenty of talent to go around. Especially here in america, no need for Hakeem on the 1996 olympic team or Hammon playing for russia.