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Thread: Annoying thing during the Opening Ceremony

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    Annoying thing during the Opening Ceremony

    I'm watching the opening ceremony on NBC, and I have to say something incredibly annoying --- an athlete representing a country they were not born in or they don't live in. They just announced the country of Paraguay and their athlete was has never even been to Paraguay!

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amei View Post
    I'm watching the opening ceremony on NBC, and I have to say something incredibly annoying --- an athlete representing a country they were not born in or they don't live in. ...
    Plenty of figure skaters are "guilty" of the same.

    Some GS members (not including me) love to opine about which skaters "should" change their citizenship to which other countries. At least one thread has been devoted to this topic, which seems to crop up all the time in other threads as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amei View Post
    I'm watching the opening ceremony on NBC, and I have to say something incredibly annoying --- an athlete representing a country they were not born in or they don't live in. They just announced the country of Paraguay and their athlete was has never even been to Paraguay!
    I believe they said she was born in Paraguay then adopted by Americans.

    They just said that the athlete competing for Togo was approached by the country rather than the other way around. So there is that, as well.

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    Often these arrangements are the only way that a country can have a team in the Winter Olympics at all. So both sides benefit. For some reason it doesn't bother me too much. Usually the country involved isn't very influential in the Games, and the athlete isn't hugely successful. But this small presence in the Games might one day lead to a stronger athlete's having the chance to go to the Games and do well.

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    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    I believe they said she was born in Paraguay then adopted by Americans.

    They just said that the athlete competing for Togo was approached by the country rather than the other way around. So there is that, as well.

    That version of the story about the Paraguayan competitor was the one Hazel Irvine told us on the BBC coverage.

    I can't remember what country it was, but somewhere had as their only representatives a married couple from New York, who were given citizenship as a "Thank You" for aid work they had done in that country.

    Not too sure on how I feel about that one. A nice gesture on that country's part, but I would much prefer if competitors had a family connection to the country they were representing.

    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    Plenty of figure skaters are "guilty" of the same.

    Some GS members (not including me) love to opine about which skaters "should" change their citizenship to which other countries. At least one thread has been devoted to this topic, which seems to crop up all the time in other threads as well.
    By the way, in case anybody wants somebody to blame, I am the guilty party who started the thread about alternative nationalities...

    Sorry!

    CaroLiza_fan

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amei View Post
    I'm watching the opening ceremony on NBC, and I have to say something incredibly annoying --- an athlete representing a country they were not born in or they don't live in. They just announced the country of Paraguay and their athlete was has never even been to Paraguay!
    Just some of the figure skaters representing countries they were not born in and in some cases, ones that they do not live in:

    Andrea Davidovich/Evgeni Krasnopolski (USA/Ukraine, represent Israel)
    Ondrej Hotarek (Czech Republic, represents Italy)
    Vanessa James (born in Canada, raised in Bermuda and the US, represents France)
    Cathy and Chris Reed (USA, represent Japan)
    Aliona Savchenko (Ukraine, represents Germany)
    Simon Shnapir (born in then-Soviet Union, represents USA)
    Isabella Tobias (USA, represents Lithuania)
    Tatiana Volosozhar (Ukraine, represents Russia)
    Kaitlyn Weaver (USA, represents Canada)
    Isadora Williams (USA, represents Brazil)

    Obviously, many of these skaters either grew up in the country they compete for (Shnapir, Krasnopolski), or at least have strong links to it (e.g. Savchenko has lived in Germany for over a decade). But while I agree that Olympians should have a real connection to the country they represent, I'm not going to play citizenship police and decide who's good enough.

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    Having citizenship to represent a country is already a higher bar than most international sporting competition. Not sure what more you can ask to prove you have a "connection" to a country.

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    Comeback Queen! ARipp42014's Avatar
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    Speaking of Julia Marino, she's being featured on NBCSN right now! She's explaining her journey to be at Sochi, including going back to Paraguay to meet with the media.

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    ...

    I can't remember what country it was, but somewhere had as their only representatives a married couple from New York, who were given citizenship as a "Thank You" for aid work they had done in that country.

    Not too sure on how I feel about that one. A nice gesture on that country's part, but I would much prefer if competitors had a family connection to the country they were representing.



    By the way, in case anybody wants somebody to blame, I am the guilty party who started the thread about alternative nationalities...

    Sorry!

    CaroLiza_fan
    CL_fan, thx for posting the link to your thread, so it is handy for anyone who wants to check it out.
    I hope you know that I enjoy/appreciate/respect your posts on just about every other topic under the sun.

    The aid work couple is representing the Dominican Republic, IIRC. I think it's cool that they feel such a profound attachment to a country to which they do not have blood ties. As strong an attachment, I daresay, as what some athletes feel toward countries to which they have blood ties only by accident of birth.

    BTW, some Americans who have said that they want to represent only the U.S. -- although theoretically changing their citizenship would be feasible:
    - Alex and Maia Shibutani (re Japan)
    - Max Aaron (re Israel; he is Jewish)

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    The spirit of the Olympics is about team and sports spirit beyond nationalism, and different demographics coming together as one. In that respect, mixes are certainly a good thing, as long as the seemingly "foreign" member respects and commits to the team (s)he is playing for

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