Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ryan Lochte, Hope Solo, and the American stereotype

"Ryan Lochte is everything the world hates about Americans", in these words Marc Vaccaro of the New York Post summed up the Ryan Lochte situation which turned a late night gas station brawl into the most memorable thing about Rio Olympics.
Here's anther theory, "Hope Solo is everything the world hates about Americans". Solo, the American football team star - previously implicated in a high visibility domestic violence case - said, after her team lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals following penalty kicks: "We played a creative game. We had many opportunities on goal. We showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down. I’m very proud of this team." This bit is the self-motivational one which was expected under the circumstances. But Solo goes on with: “We played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly, firmly believe that.”
Let me understand that - football is about scoring the most goals in your enemy's net. Sweden knew they were at a disadvantage, played the best possible way, got the Americans where they wanted them - and guess what? Following good tactics, they won. Well, I am not seeing anything "cowardly" for not letting Solo and her pals win.
Unless Solo, much like the American public, thinks the US team is entitled to the Gold medals in all sports combined by divine right, and if anyone dares defy them, well, Solo's domestic violence case is a good indicator on what would happen. Lochte's sense of entitlement - of the I-can-piss-wherever-I-want-and-twist-things-to-appear-as-I-was-the-victim variety - is a different (but just a worthwhile) indicator.
Solo is a sore loser, and Lochte is an arrogant dim-witted character full of self-pompousness.
I come from a place that the US has intervened so much in, and no wonder there is a bitter taste for some people about that nation and how it is being viewed. I am sure there are decent, smart, kind, emphatic, well-mannered Americans. 
The general stereotype however seems to be Solo and Lochte.