Waving Two Nations' Flags? Bad Idea

US medalist Leo Manzano represented USA, not Mexico: Ruben Navarrette Jr
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:14 PM CDT
Waving Two Nations' Flags? Bad Idea
Gold medalist Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria, left, and silver medalist Leo Manzano, with a US and Mexican flag.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After Team USA runner Leo Manzano scored a silver medal in the 1,500-meters, he celebrated by waving two national flags. He wanted to honor both the nation in which he was born—Mexico—and the nation in which he grew up to become a world-class runner—the US. Ruben Navarrette Jr. can understand why many of his fellow Mexican-Americans found the decision to be "charming." As for him, "it upset my stomach," he writes at CNN.

Manzano wasn't in London representing himself or his own ego, but his country. He should have picked one, and the USA on his jersey should have made that easy. Notice any Italian-American athletes waving the Italian flag, too? Navarrette didn't think so. "This country took you in during your hour of need," he writes. "Now in your moment of glory, which country deserves your respect—the one that offered nothing to your parents and forced them to leave or the one that took you all in and gave you the opportunity to live out your dreams?" Read his full column here. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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