Stephan, I also noticed Shawn Johnson make the peace sign to the camera at least twice while she was between events.
It’s also a safe bet that Nastia Liukin is rather down on war as well, since she probably doesn’t want her Russian aunts, uncles, and cousins nuked into oblivion by the United States government.
I noticed that the Olympic athletes in general are quite at home relating with foreigners since senior gymnasts and other athletes at that level spend much of their time interacting with foreigners at international competitions each year. It is probably rather difficult to convince Olympic level athletes of the “us vs them” mentality that predominates in middle-America.
Liukin by the way is an excellent example of why the United States has so many great athletes. We just poach the foreign athletes and coaches from their home countries.
Shawn Johnson’s coach and the women’s volleyball coach were both born in China. Liukin comes from Russian-born gymnasts, and Bela Karolyi, who coached Americans to gold between 1984 and 1996, is of course Romanian.
I’m reminded that after the media played up an alleged and figure-skating rivalry between Japan and USA, the Japanese lost to a red-blooded American skater named Kristy Yamaguchi.
Lots of gold medals don’t prove American superiority of course. They just illustrate that a lax immigation policy is good for American athletics.11:07 pm on August 25, 2008 Email Ryan McMaken