True Olympic Spirit Cannot be Contained

I am Bahamian-American, a citizen of both countries, and culturally, a mutt: an unspecified combination of the two.  Although I’ve never met former Trinidadian Olympic champion and NBC broadcaster Ato Boldon (only three other men in history—Usain Bolt, Frankie Fredericks and Carl Lewis—have won as many Olympic individual event sprint medals) I could tell he was proud of his Caribbean heritage. At the end of the women's 400m final on Monday night, NBC audiences waited with bated breath for Ato to announce the winner. Then, with the results confirmed, Ato shouted out, “ I think she got it!” It was a fascinating moment, the intersection of culture, migration and citizenship all in one.  I knew right away that the “she” my Caribbean brother was referring to was Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas, and not my fellow American Allison Felix and I too rejoiced even before he announced the winner by name. Ato showed NBC, which has been rightfully critiqued for its biased focus on US athletes at the world’s greatest sporting event, that American audiences are deeply diverse with wide-ranging global ties and the true Olympic spirit cannot be contained by a script.

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