June 27, 2008

Am I missing something?

Don't you have to be a citizen of the country you represent in the Olympics? If not, when did this change?

Becky Hammon dreamed about the moment as a young girl growing up in Rapid City, S.D. Someday that would be her on that Olympic podium, tears welling up as she hears the national anthem, quivering with emotion as a gold medal is placed around her neck.

"I love my country," Hammon said last month in her Russian apartment. "I love our national anthem. It absolutely gives me chills sometimes. I feel honored to be an American, to be from America because of what we stand for."

But if the 5-foot-6 point guard from America's heartland does ascend that medal stand in Beijing, she won't be wearing America's red, white and blue. And if Hammon does win gold, it won't be the U.S. anthem she hears. It will be the Russian anthem, a melody she says she has come to enjoy since signing a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal last year to play for CSKA, a Russian professional club. (Link.)

She loves her country, but loves the green stuff just a little more. Hmm. Sounds like a lot of corporations!

Don't know 'bout you, but I wouldn't -- couldn't do it. Hell, I can't even bring myself to ever put on a shirt with any football team's name/logo unless it's the St. Louis Rams. Seriously.

Posted by Hube at June 27, 2008 09:52 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I can't play for my country so I'll play against them. What a narcisist!

Posted by: jef at June 27, 2008 10:01 AM

I'm pretty sure that, in 2004, American players of Greek heritage (such as Nick Markakis) played for the Greek baseball team.

This situation seems somewhat different, though. I don't know what the IOC's rules are for this situation.

The article does say that she has a Russian passport and was "fast-tracked" for Russian citizenship.

Posted by: Alejandro at June 27, 2008 10:10 AM