Monday, May 17, 2004

U.S. Athletes Told to Cool It at Olympics By USOC

NEW YORK - American athletes have been warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image.

The spectacle of victorious athletes grabbing a national flag and parading it around the stadium is a familiar part of international sporting competition, but U.S. Olympic officials have ordered their 550-strong team to exercise restraint and avoid any jingoistic behavior.

The plan is part of a charm offensive aimed at repairing the country's international reputation after the deepening crisis in Iraq and damaging revelations of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison.

This is so offensive on so many levels and should be to every American. Better we should exhibit shame? I suppose we could wave a white flag, but then we would be indistinguishable from the French.

As for our battered public image, most of the battering of this country's image is at the hands of the media, the Democratic party and people (like the USOC) with defeatist agendas.

The insanity of this self-inflicted assault and battery must stop!

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