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Can We Stop Trying to Generate Olympic Controversies, Please?

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I’m going to admit it. I love the Olympic Games. Always have. I still remember all the way back to the Winter Olympics in 1980 and watching the USA men’s hockey team’s amazing run to the gold medal. The USA’s win over the former Soviet Union in the semi-final of those Olympics will always be, hands down, one of the greatest moments in sports history. And what Michael Phelps has done over the past four Summer Olympics is something those of us who have witnessed it from the beginning will NEVER see again in our lifetimes.

But I’m going to say it right now. Social media has ruined the Olympics. And in so many ways. It’s not just that they ruin results of events by throwing it in our faces at every opportunity. That’s annoying, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not the worst of it. The worst part of social media during the Olympics is the way people try to generate controversies that really aren’t, or shouldn’t be, controversies.

There have been two instances just recently. The first involved Hope Solo allowing a free kick goal in a 2-2 draw with Colombia. Seriously? She’s a goalkeeper. Even the best ones in the world sometimes let in a goal. And sometimes they let in a goal that maybe they shouldn’t. Why did it become such a big deal?

And now there’s the latest “controversy” regarding Gabby Douglas not putting her hand over her heart during the medal ceremony for the women’s gymnastics team. Really? I’m sorry, but that’s ridiculous. People show their respect for our country, flag and anthem in different ways. That’s what she did. But now, a small segment of the population seems to want to ruin her moment by making a big deal about this. Ridiculous.

Here’s the deal. As Americans, we all show our patriotism in different ways. It’s not a law that a person put their hand over their heart during the national anthem. I see just as many people put their hands behind their backs during the anthem. And how lucky are we that we live in a country where we’ve got things so good that we can make an issue out of something so petty!

Can we please get back to the Olympics being about sport? About competition? About people trying to achieve their best in events that they have spent a lifetime working to perfect. To those who have made these events, and others during the Olympic Games, issues please just get over yourselves.

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