Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Mixie" Olympiads!

OK. The Winter Olympics are here. And having experienced the Snowpocalypse on the East Coast, I am actually stuck in the house...I mean, sitting down to watch the events.

Now I know this is NOT about adoption - but I couldn't resist posting about the latest speed skating medalists, Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski. A little background on these athletes: Apolo Ohno's father is Japanese-born and his mother is American. J.R. Celski's father is of Polish descent and his mother is of Filipino descent. Here's a nice article on Apolo and his supportive dad. And if you missed the edge-of-your-seat Short Track: Men's 1500M race, then you can click here to watch it on NBC.com

I can't help feeling a certain sense of pride when I see these mixed Asians! All of my knowledge about "model minority" stereotypes go right out the window. I mean, who cares that these athletes epitomize the "hard-work ethic" that is often attributed to Asian cultures (and absolutely necessary for anyone aspiring to be an Olympic athlete). I'm just elated to see some athletes that look like me. Or more importantly, athletes that my children can identify with.

As I watch the Olympics with my sons, they cheer for Team USA and Team Japan equally.  They know their roots and connect with both countries on some level. And I'm glad to see that they can find someone who "looks like them" in popular media.

I'd love to hear of more "mixie" Olympiads out there. If you've found them, please share!


a Tonggu Momma said...

I'm not sure about the winter Olympics, but there were many "mixie" Asian-American Olympiads during the summer games in Beijing, including:

Annabelle Orme (synchronized swimming)
Sandra Fong (shooting)
Lovieanne Jung (softball)
Logan Tom (women's indoor volleyball)
Lindsey Berg (women’s indoor volleyball)
Natalie Coughlin (swimming)
Nathan Adrian (swimming)
Natasha Kai (soccer)
Amy Tran (field hockey)
Emily Cross (fencing)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I was watching... shh... ice dancing tonight and I thought of your post. I learned that Allison Reed, who is skating for the country of Georgia (her ice dancing partner is Georgian), is actually an American whose mother was born and raised in Japan and whose father is Caucasian, born and raised in Nebraska. Her siblings, Cathy and Chris, are skating as ice dancers for Japan.