This seems to have not been a huge talking point for many, but for me, the most spectacular thing about the 2016 USA Women’s Gymnastic Team, outside of their domination, is their diversity. The team is comprised of a Latina, two black women, a Jewish woman, and a white woman. It’s beautiful to see. What’s more, is that is seems that all of our women teams do far better than our male teams, and this is not just in Rio so far. The USWNT (Soccer) has won three World Cups, could have been easily been four. The USWNT (Basketball) has won the last five Olympic Golds, and no one thinks it won’t be six straight this year. (Remember the 2004 men’s team?)
The USWNT (Basketball) is so superior that Brittney Griner is looking for individual accolades, which I have no issue with. I hope she gets it. Although this summer Williams Sister had an Olympics to forget, collectively or indivdually they have been more successful than any male tennis player the US has produced in the last 20 years. I agree with Ian Crouch of the New Yorker, Serena is the greatest American athlete in my lifetime. Mind you, he wrote that before she turned in one of the great years in sports history.
The only men’s team that is as dominate in their sport as our women’s teams seems to be our swimming and basketball teams. All of this is not to say that US men’s teams offer nothing. They do, even in mediocrity. But when we will start caring about our women’s teams in non Olympics or World Cup summers? When will we support the WNBA more? I do not understand why more Angelinos a Sparks game at the Staples Center? You can at least beat heat! There are tickets for less than $10 on StubHub. It’s cheaper and more entertaining than your best summer flick. And finally, the USWNT should earn as much as the perpetually disappointing men’s team.
[Much of the US women’s dominance is sports can be traced to Title IX further proving that you can legislate equally. Anyway…]
I’m proud of our Women’s Gymnastic Team. Thank you Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, Simone Biles, and Gabby Douglas. They, along with other women athletes, represent what makes America America.