I have to admit, when I first saw the scheduled lineup for the RNC’s Thursday night programming, I was a wee bit confused about the delegation of Olympians being brought out on stage to address the convention — I mean, I get that they want to highlight Mitt Romney’s success at turning around the 2002 Olympic Games, I thought, but does anybody really know or care who these people are? But I was wrong — so wrong.
In retrospect, having Olympic athletes describe the meaning and significance of the Olympics was kind of a brilliant idea — not only does it underscore why turning around the huge administrative and financial boondoggle that were the 2002 Winter Olympics is such an impressive and consequential success story of Mitt Romney’s life, but also, Americans in general just really like the Olympics. Nothing gets Americans’ patriotic fires a-burnin’ like watching other Americans just straight-up winning, and getting some of their favorite athletes from Olympic lore to give their personal take on Mitt’s strategery was a master stroke that effectively expanded the tone of the evening to American exceptionalism and tugged on everybody’s heartstrings.
I wasn’t even a thought in my parents’ minds at the time, but I’ve heard that the men’s ice hockey team beating the Soviet Union to go on and take the gold medal in 1980, during the height of Cold-War tensions, was pretty much the single greatest sporting event in the history of planet earth — and their team captain Mike Eurozione reminded the audience of why the Olympics can be so important and powerful in the international arena. Derek Parra added to that theme, reminding viewers that the product of Mitt’s organization came to fruition just a few months after 9/11, and showed to the world that America was strong and united. Powerful stuff, folks.
“U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!”