These Olympics were about....

I struggled on what exactly I wanted to write about for these Olympics. I thought that I could do a rant or thinkpiece about the entire experience. However, I felt that it would be better if I bulleted out a list of memories, experiences since they are more vignettes than long ideologies or philosophies I want to extrapolate on. 

Anyways, here goes my thoughts ad infinitum. These Olympics were about: 

  • These Olympics were about a country that has a high dichotomy in terms of class, as poor favelas stand right next to affluent stadiums.
  • These Olympics were about the destruction of said favelas for building structures, while at the same time bringing in more income for the people in other favelas
  • These Olympics were about a multicultural country that has a joy of life and enjoy the spirit of competition in every aspect whether poor or rich
  • These Olympics were about many friends (Black and well-to-do for anyone derailed by the media) going to the Olympics to enjoy it
  • These Olympics were for all the discussion I had with strangers and friends about Black excellence, Brasil and the realization that I wasn't the only who obsessed over these games. 
  • These Olympics were about whenever Brasil won ouro(gold) and celebrated like it was Carnival - for Neymar and the Soccer squad, the Black Brasilian who won judo amongst the racism (yes not colorism) of this country and all their other wins
  • These Olympics were about believing a man, Usain Bolt, could fly forever, we may never see someone like him again
  • These Olympics were about Van de Kirk and his diversity to bring South Africa the most unbelievable 400M run in history from the outside track
  • These Olympics were about the testosterone leveled Semaya and her ability to bring white womens' tears to the utter bitterness of how badly Black women dominated these Olympics
  • These Olympics were about the thuggery of Ryan Lochte in everything that represented white privilege - his big white lies, him leaving his teammates, their destruction of property, and their ability to create an acrimonious account of a brown country that perpetuates white fear
  • These Olympics were about disproving Lochte's lies and showing that Brasil is wonderful and if you're brown that will love you especially in Salvador, Bahia.
  • These Olympics were about Phelps congratulating the Singaporean swimmer (first medal!) who idolized him and being a great sportsmanship
  • These Olympics were about Phelps being the greatest athlete....period. 
  • These Olympics were about the French polevaulter's tears to not comprehend the Brasilian boos. It was disrespectful, but how much sympathy do we have anymore for white men?
  • These Olympics were about all the people from the African diaspora and the motherland doing wonderful - Ethiopian track star, French Black female judoka, Jamaican track excellence, Nigerian in the canoe
  • These Olympics were about all the times Black men had excellence - First boxing medal in years, a silver in sabre, and other team wins (Basketball and 4x400M).
  • However These Olympics were mostly about the greatest people on the planet. BLACK WOMEN. I saved the best for last and I can't really quantify how amazing they were this year. Yes, Black women from other countries did well, but Black women from the US were on fire. I'll list as many as I can because they were wonderful and I love them. 
  1. Simone Biles - all those selfies in the closing ceremony. If Phelps and Bolt didn't have years of Olympics, there would be no question she is the best athlete of all time. She is definitely the greatest athlete of these games. And I'm telling seeing one of new tiny 5th graders leap for joy when she saw her on my wall makes everything sweeter. 
  2. Simone Manuel - Black people can swim and win!!!!! Simone Manuel had no qualms about BlackLivesMatter either. She is a glorious athlete and another inspiration
  3. Michelle Carter - A glorious woman (so my type hah) who owned her shotput and got the US the first woman's medal in shotput in years. 
  4. The Williams Sisters - Forever being skilled, they didn't get many medals, but Venus did pull of the mixed doubles silver. Still, you how amazing these two have been and continue to be. I can't believe I've been reading about them consistently for almost 20 years. 
  5. The 110M hurdles sweep - That doesn't happen often and especially not in an event like hurdles. The first womens' sweep was by Black women and one was killing like being a mom and silver medalist is lightweight. 
  6. The Black women of the Basketball and Water Polo Team - shout out to another great win by the Basketball womens' team. Also the Black goalie of the womens' water polo team once again proved that Black people can swim. She's one of the biggest reasons the women won.
  7. Muhammad and Muhammad - Islamophobia????? Get that out of here. With it we wouldn't have a brilliant finish in the 400M to get as gold and a Muslim team member rallying the efforts  of her fencing team (Muslims in fencing?????) to win a Bronze medal. Also they went as Muslims (Ibitihaj with a hijab) for a country that hates them.
  8. Gabby Douglas - Once our hearthrob who won gold on her own. She was hated on by twitter that started with our own self-hate and jealousy. Do you have three gold medals???? No you don't so leave this wonderful woman alone and instead uplift her in her greatness
  9. Allyson Felix - My fellow Trojan who consistently performs well and has more gold than any other female trackstar. She's a humble and valiant person as well. Fight on!
  10. The womens 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays -The 4 x 400M women who did their best to own the competition and the 4 x 100 team who went through a lot of hardship for that gold
  11. Clarissa Shields - Repeat golds, repeat dominance her boxing ring. 
  12. The long jumpers who flew to the gold and silver with soaring finishes
  • In the end These Olympics, These Black Olympics were about Black Girl Magic and the excellence that they are capable of when they are allowed to flourish. As such, it is so unfortunate they have to return to a country that spits vitriolic hatred against them for merely existing. This is what I fight for every day in my classroom. The hope that this country will treat Black women like they treat them when they win the gold medal. All we're asking for is respect for our children, our friends and family. We do well for a country that doesn't respect or even acknowledge it. Black Excellence is everything and the sooner the USA and the world gets on board the sooner we will all be true Olympians.