Despite Brazil’s crumbling economy and its pre-Olympics scrum of a preparation, the athletes have turned the public’s attention to competition.
And, oh, it is glorious.
A sprite-like little girl born to a drug-addicted mother and put into foster care led the U.S. women’s gymnastics team to gold – a team, it should be noted, that includes two black women, a Jewish woman and a Puerto Rican girl.
A guy with two DUIs and an infamous photo of him smoking marijuana out of a bong won his 25th – 25th! – Olympic medal.
An out lesbian is leading the U.S. women’s soccer team.
A Muslim American competed in fencing.
An all refugee team, that includes a swimmer who saved 20 lives, is competing under the Olympic flag.
The Olympics, despite the catastrophe that hosting the Games drops upon most nations, are magical.
They represent all that is good in the world: Triumph, perseverance, commitment, selflessness, diversity.
The Olympics are the antithesis of Donald Trump.
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2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online from Palgrave Macmillan. (Hardback available in September 2021.)
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.