The honor of being an US athlete
Obviously, today is a the day we celebrate the birth of our country. If I could send it a nice birthday card to America I would, but this blog post will have to suffice I suppose.
One of the things that I take the most pride in as an athlete is the ability to represent our country at World Cups, World Championships and hopefully one day at the Olympics. I still remember the first time I got a “USA” skin suit in the mail. I immediately tore the box open, put it on and was walking around the house in it. I could not have been prouder. I also vividly remember going to the starting line of my first World Cup with “USA” on my back. There was something terrifying but also exhilarating about the fact that I had the weight of a nation on my back.
The honor of wearing the star and stripes is something that is amazingly humbling and rewarding based on the fact that you are out there representing not only yourself and your team but also your entire nation. I think a lot of us take extra pride in repping the USA because in many ways we are America’s team. We don’t have big government stipends. We don’t have crazy endorsement deals that place us on billboards in China. What we do receive is often from average citizens and small business who understand our dedication and what we are trying to do. Most of us understand that this will probably be the worst paying job we have in our lifetimes, but we are willing to make those sacrifices in order to represent this great country.
So to you America, Happy Birthday! Thanks for being the best country out there, giving us the opportunity to pursue our dreams, and we hope to do you proud this year around the globe and in Sochi.