Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Olympics are filled with TCKs

Stock image taken from Pixabay

The Rio Olympics is underway and so many elite and inspiring athletes from around the world are competing at their highest level to be the best in the world. Its been a rising trend that so many of these athletes are globally mobile and travel to get the best training in the world. So many athletes as a result become Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Expats as a result.

Sports has a long history of soft-core diplomacy for countries. The exchange of good sportsmanship between athletes, the inspiration these elite athletes give to budding athletes, the athletic rivalry in competition, and the pride in representing a whole nation.

Wait... Patriotism among TCKs can be a tricky thing.

As a spectator, TCKs are torn between multiple countries. Who do we root for?

I recently asked my mother this question and she responded by saying "I don't have a country to root for"

To which I replied "I root for the winning athletes and the countries they represent"

She responded "So we should have multiple country flags and wave the winning flags"


Its trickier for athletes. Some are third culture kids early on in their childhood and had their training all over the world. Some move because they need to get the highest training they can get to make it to the top of their chosen sport. Some move because they would have a better chance at representing a country at the Olympics.

With global mobility becoming easier, an elite athlete would be able to get the best training she/he needs to make their dreams come true. There are so many critics to this tactic as it may be seen as un-patriotic. But what is patriotism these days for the global nomad? Global nomadic athletes train hard to push themselves to realise their dreams for competing with the best for an Olympic gold.

We should support the athletes and their hard work, sacrifices, and for having the determination that many of us lack to push through many long hours of sore muscles, injuries, etc.

Cheer on for the athletes that moves from Singapore to the USA, from China to Germany, from Greece to Austria, from USA to Georgia, from USA to Sweden, etc.

Celebrate the diversity of cultures mixing and healthy sports competition.

Stock photo taken from Pixabay

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