Hard not to beam with pride for ‘Merica

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, August 11, 2016

Like a lot of Americans, I’ve been glued to the TV each night this week watching the Summer Olympic Games from Rio and witnessing the dominance of the United States team.

While I’ve watched the U.S. women’s gymnastics team tumble over the competition and the American swimmers circle laps around their foes, I can’t help but think that despite the divisiveness that rips through our country, these Olympic games seem to bind us as a nation.

It’s been refreshing to scroll through my newsfeed and see more social media posts about the United States Olympic team and their success, rather than a presidential election campaign that has strained friendships due to differing political views.

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This week, I’ve noticed posts from folks who have been bickering over politics for the last year actually “like” and agree with each other’s posts when it comes to the Olympics. Granted, the success and popularity of the United States team certainly has helped mend some fences. That certainly wouldn’t be the case if the opposition were whipping the USA, who as of this writing were leading the medal count with 30-plus.

And what about Michael Phelps? That guy is a beast in the water. To watch him literally leave his competition in the wake this week has been amazing.

Locally, it seems the talk all around Oxford and the Square has been about our hometown hero, Sam Kendricks, and his quest for a medal in the pole vault. How exciting will it be on Saturday night to watch Kendricks compete in the qualifying round?

For those who want to watch Kendricks in the qualifying round, livestream the broadcast by logging onto  http://stream.nbcolympics.com/track-and-field-day-8-evening. The event begins at 6 p.m. And don’t forget about the watch party on Monday night at Rafter’s on the Square that gets underway at 6 p.m. when Kendricks is expected to compete for a medal in the finals.

Let’s just enjoy this second week of the Summer Games and cheer on the U.S. athletes before college football season arrives. That’s when the claws really come out on social media. And for my Alabama football Facebook “friends” here’s a reminder: Despite what happens tomorrow, Ole Miss will STILL have beaten the Crimson Tide two years in a row. Hotty Toddy!

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.