U.S. Gymnasts Are In the Pink

fencing maskI love the Olympics.  I love almost everything about them.  As I get older, I don’t just watch the sports I play (tennis), or wish I played (competitive soccer).  I appreciate ALL the athletes’ tremendous talent and dedication, and am now more likely to take the smorgasbord, all-you-can-eat approach to the games.  I watch everything.

So, I may not know the difference between a sabre and an épée… but I have decided that fencing is cool.  I especially like it when competitors trick out their face shields with their national flags.  And when their helmets are electric, and light up when touched by opponents’ weapons – that’s even better.

But what of those fencers who don’t have flag masks, and just wear… WHITE?  I mean, clearly that is some kind of subversive statement, no?  It IS!  Just ask our friends at Fox News.

It truly is a slow news day when, in a quest to say something – ANYTHING – to rile up viewers, pundits at Fox News criticize America’s gymnasts because of what they are wearing.

That’s right, Fox’s America Live host Alisyn Camerota has taken the U.S. Women’s gymnastics squad – comprised of girls averaging 16 years of age – to task because, in the process of winning gold medals last week, they wore leotards that were (*gasp*) hot pink.

“Gabby had that great moment, everybody was so excited… and she’s in hot pink.”

You won’t see a better set up than that in Olympic beach volleyball. Camerota then asked her guest, radio host David Webb (co-founder of advocacy group Tea Party 365) to weigh in.  Webb lamented that the team’s dress is an example of a slight “anti-American feeling.”

“The Chinese are wearing red predominantly as that’s their national color, if you will. So why not us, with the red white and blue?…  There’s a meaning behind the red white and blue that’s been lost in time. The field of stars. You know, the blood that’s been shed… that’s what we need to focus on and get that out in our country.”

See this is where I get confused.  I had assumed that the choice of leotard color was — for these teenage girls who have devoted their lives to the DREAM of representing the USA in the Olympics — a matter of looking pretty.  Of making their families, friends and America proud.  Of matching their attire with their copious amounts of hair glitter.

Turns out, leotards are supposed to conjure up bloody battlefields?  Sorry, I just don’t follow.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our flag. I wave it with the best of them. I get choked up every, single time an Olympic champion takes the top spot on the podium for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.  But to those who laud our “stars and stripes” as a unique representation of the United States… I did about 90 seconds of internet research today, and discovered something shocking.  SHOCKING!

Red, white and blue.  The stars and stripes.  We don’t own them!

There are at least 30 flags in the world that are red, white and blue.  Twenty of them, including the flag of those lefty French, have stripes. (Mon Dieu!)  Two have one or more stars.  Eight feature both stars and stripes, including North Korea and… CUBA!  (How did this happen?  Quick, can we find a way to blame Bill Clinton?)

So get over yourselves, you sanctimonious rabble-rousers at Fox News who just CAN’T LET AMERICANS FEEL GOOD for once.  We get it, you made your fortune and built your viewership by scaring the bejesus out of people.  Look out, it’s a Muslim!  It’s Planned Parenthood!  It’s a high school science teacher with a fossil, talking about Darwinism!

Picking on dedicated, talented teenaged girls who are bringing home a gold medal?  That’s beneath even you.

Gabby, McKayla, Aly, Kyla and Jordyn.  You know it’s coming ladies.  Fox News will come a knocking, wanting an interview.  Don’t say no.  Do it… but be sure to wear hot pink!