Gabby Douglas, returning gymnastics hero from the 2012 Olympics, was not our top competitor this year. Poor Gabby, she is only one of the top half dozen gymnasts in the world. She’s only better than. . .how many billions of people are there?
The truth is, she is a proud American who gives the rest of us just one more good reason to be proud Americans ourselves.
At the awards ceremony, Gabby stood with her teammates during the playing of the national anthem and the raising of the American flag. She had put in many, many thousands of hours to see that flag raised, proving herself to have a work ethic far, far better than 99.9% of the rest of us. But she didn’t put her hand on her chest, a gesture which is not required by protocol (as it is for the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance) but has become common.
If Gabby makes me proud to be an American with her, the incredibly petty folk who criticize her for standing the way they would during the ceremony remind me that America is home to a great many people of whom we are ashamed. One Gabby makes America look good. One or ten thousand of her silly critics contribute absolutely nothing positive to our country or our reputation. They dishonor the American flag very greatly, while Gabby honored it deeply.
Thanks Gabby. I’m honored to be an American with you.