Search form

Scroll To Top
News & Opinion

Op-Ed: If You Like the Olympics Then You Shouldn’t Vote For Donald Trump

Donald Trump, Olympics
Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

The Republican presidential nominee goes against everything the Olympics stand for. 

The Olympics gathers the best athletes from around the world and brings them to a global stage, fostering patriotism from fans and audiences hoping to see their countries bedecked in Olympic glory. The events of the Games, while fiercely competitive on the surface, are steeped in the comradery that international-level sports fosters between athletes and nations. This infectious, universal spirit of friendly rivalry that covers the world every two or four years is the exact reason why, if you enjoy and celebrate the Olympics, you shouldn't vote for Donald Trump this November.

Trump's dangerously nationalistic, isolationist views are the antithesis of what the Olympics stand for. Threatening the ban of an entire religion from the United States and putting up a literal wall with one of our neighbors would all but completely dash any hopes the U.S. has of hosting Games in the near future. While it's no secret that a Trump presidency would besmirch the image of the U.S. in the obvious areas of immigration, tolerance, and overall emotional maturity, events like the Olympics are integral for a positive American perception.

In 1936, when the Summer Games were held in Berlin, Adolf Hitler tried to to further his anti-Semitic and racial superiority propaganda, initially saying Jews should not be allowed to compete in the games, and even banning some of Germany's top Jewish athletes. Though there was talk of a boycott before the games, it never solidified and, while many Jewish athletes personally boycotted such a global sign of unity taking place under a Nazi regime, large countries like the United States still sent delegations.

Related | Stephen Colbert Draws Swastika to Trace Donald Trump's Post-Orlando Logic

However, when a second chance arose to use the Olympic platform to amplify nation's voices on current events, many took it. After invading Afghanistan in December of 1979, President Jimmy Carter issued an ultimatum to the then-Soviet Union, threatening to boycott the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow if soviet troops weren't withdrawn in a month's time. Ultimately, 65 nations refused to participate in the games, with a handful of others attending but refusing to participate in the opening ceremonies.

If Donald Trump had his way, future American Olympics could be held with as much disdain as two of the most notorious Games in modern Olympics history. If he attempts to eject an entire religion from the United States, what's to stop him from deciding--should the U.S. become a host nation--that Muslims can't compete because his xenophobia has branded them all terrorists? At their heart, true American values and Olympic values are strikingly similar, encouraging and even fighting for inclusion, diversity, and equality. Our athletes, who continuously push the limits of the human body just to compete for their country, don't deserve to have their fleeting moments of national and global recognition dimmed by a man and a government that stabs at the very heart of what the Olympics symbolize.

While popular American sports like football and basketball have their biggest tournaments and championships annually, athletes in sports whose national events that receive less notice, like gymnastics, swimming, diving, and many more, only have the chance at national recognition every four years. Many American football fans can tell you who won the Super Bowl last year, but what do they know about how Michael Phelps spends his training time between the Olympics? After her all-around win and subsequent media blitz after London's 2012 Summer Games, Gabby Douglas faded back into general obscurity until Rio buzz began.

While the United States may often be viewed as one of the greatest powers and bastions of freedom and opportunity in the world, our athletes at the Olympics are, for the most part, humble in their wins, graceful in their defeats, and always proud to represent their country. The majority of countries around the world are able to embrace the Olympics for the show of unity that they are, partaking in the competition without letting it rule them (with exceptions like Russia). We owe it to ourselves, our already shaky global image, and our Olympic athletes to keep the rare glimmers of worldwide companionship, like the Olympics, as pure as possible. That means avoiding the spray tan-fingerprints a president Trump would leave on an American Olympic legacy.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Dennis Hinzmann