26 Sep A Rant About the Lack of American Participation by Nick Mevoli
Where’s your team shirt? Where’s your flag?
Everything that I am about to write about I take full responsibility for not having, however I feel like the sole responsibility should not lie on my shoulders. 18:16 I open the drawer to my wardrobe and pull out my birthday present shirt from Tijana and her mother, a stripped navy blue and white sailor shirt. Washed, clean pressed and with no stains. The nicest thing I own. I put it on because it smells clean. Walking down the path not thirty seconds from my room and the questions start,
“Where’s your team shirt?”
“Are you team fisherman?”
“Are you going to draw some stars on that?”
“Come on USA they can’t buy you a shirt?”
On and on until most of the 34 countries in Kalamata had asked me the same question. My responses were generally,
“I don’t have one.”
”The stars got lost in the laundry”
“My team shirt was stolen in a Czech locker room,” which is the truth.
So ho hum I make my way to the opening ceremony, the sole athlete from the largest country with the most influence in the western hemisphere wearing a stripped shirt from Croatia given to me from Serbians. I guess in a way that is a very American thing, to be handed such a melting pot. It is just that as it came time to march in the parade I was more interested in walking off towards the end of a long pier and letting the marching band fade into the night. I was enjoying looking at the boats tied up there along the wharf, each with a Greek flag fluttering from their stern. I felt like a misfit, sad, deeply sad, to be the only one here, to be walking alone, with no shirt, no flag and no home. I take full responsibility for not having something to represent my country but sometimes I need a little help packing, preparing and working to pay for these trips abroad. Sometimes I would like someone to say, “Hey don’t forget to take your flag.” Or, “Do you have a shirt?” It is though. My Mommy no longer packs my stuff for me and I must take what I know I will need.
…the sole athlete from the largest country with the most influence in the western hemisphere wearing a stripped shirt from Croatia given to me from Serbians. I guess in a way that is a very American thing, to be handed such a melting pot.
More to the point now. I have been sadden most by the lack of participation from the USA in general. I know that there are many great divers in our country but you all are lazy! I know that there is work and life and so on but there are families here, small children and wives. When I see people in their mid ages who obviously work and are here, when I see the dedication that the Russians and Ukranians give to being here it makes me mad in a way. When I hear the reasons from people back home on why they can’t be here, all I hear are excuses and fear.
Here’s the deal, plan better, make being on a team a priority. With the amount of money spent on a comp in the Caribbean you could have been here. You all have passports! I am fed up with being the only person from the largest country who, two out of the panel of Aida board members are American, the highest ranking judge is American, why the heck can’t we get our huevos in hand and get some athletes to these events! As a team, as a country and as a family! I know that we are spread out from coast to coast. I know that we are diverse. Not everyone gets easy access to Dean’s Blue Hole and I know that money is a factor in a country like ours that has no support for this sport. We will never gain support from the outside world if no one ever participates. If New Zealand can manage to get 4 people here, my God we can get at least two! Consider this a ranting call to arms! There is exactly one year until Team Worlds, going to be held in the same place and I hope that next year I won’t be walking alone in the parade. Flag less, shirtless and with no team.
Post by Nick Mevoli
All commentary and opinions in this post are exclusively of the author, Nick Mevoli. They do not reflect the opinions of the USFA or any other associated organizations or people mentioned.