Cheer the winners, and show some pride

Annie Dear
The Independent Aussie
Annie Dear

Here we have two female athletes. One, Sha’Carri Richardson, a sprinter, tested positive for marijuana in her system and has been suspended for a time which means she will miss her main event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Has she railed against her punishment? Has she blamed society, called everyone and everything racist? No, she hasn’t. With great dignity she admitted she knew the rules and what she did was wrong, and was fully prepared to take responsibility for her own actions and take her medicine.

Now, I don’t know about you, but – well, from what I’ve been told of course – marijuana, rather than being an "enhancing" drug, I believe makes you want to stop and “look at all the pretty colors” and slows life down to a very mellow pace.  How this would enhance the performance of a woman who can belt through 100 meters in 10.86 seconds is quite beyond my pay grade in trying to fathom the logic. But, hey, I’m no expert, and certainly no scientist, so I will leave further contemplation to your own navels.

And then we have the positively charming Gwen Berry. What a peach. At the U.S. track and field Olympic trials, she finished third in the hammer throw, and up on the podium turned away from the American flag and displayed an awful amount of ‘tude while the anthem played, all in the name of her protest of racism.

When I was a school girl, it was such an incredible honor to represent my place of learning in a swimming competition. If anyone was fortunate enough to then go on to compete at district, state or national levels, the pride shown by the athlete, and by the school on her behalf, was immeasurable.

Consequently, I just don’t understand that she would want to represent a country she obviously hates. All I can say is thank heaven protests and demonstrations are banned at the Tokyo Olympics.

Don’t air your dirty laundry in public, my mother would enigmatically warn me. And Gwen? Yours need a bloody good wash. 

To complicate sports even more, we have the debate arguing whether transgender males can compete in female athletics.

Men and women traditionally compete in their own gender’s events as it is scientifically proven that men can generally out-run, out-swim, out-toss and so on their female counterparts. This now is dangerously close to flying out the window.

Apparently males typically have testosterone levels around 10 nanomoles per liter, and for women it’s considered normal for their levels to be between 0.3 and 2.4 nano-thingies.

But according to the boffins, it’s now OK for a transgender male to compete in female events if their nano-whatnot level is no higher than 5. Math was never my strong suit, but isn’t this at least double that of a girly girl?

I’ve adored the Olympics my whole life, and look at the enormous pride displayed by the athletes. Please, oh please, keep politics and protests, and rule breaking and bending out of it. 

Let’s wave our flags and beam for the winners, and cry with the losers, but never, never, disrespect any country’s flag to further our own interests. This is not the place, nor the time.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at