So, last night I was watching a Basketball match between Nigeria and the Dominican Republic with the last berth in the London Olympics at stake. From the commentaries I gathered that many of the Nigerian athletes on the team where also Americans. After doing a little bit of research I learned that no less than half of the Nigerian Basketball team that will be going to London was born and raised in the United States, mostly in the south. This was after seeing that the best player on the Macedonian team is a fellow by the name of Bo McCalebb who, as far as I can tell, has never actually lived in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (yes, that's the country's real name, because Greece essentially claims to have a copyright on the name "Macedonia").
This isn't an isolated. Random related examples:
- The US women's Football starting eleven contains a Canadian, while the Canadian women's Football starting eleven contains an American. Seriously.
- Four of the eight men's short track speed skating teams in the 2010 Olympics contained at least one Canadian: Italy, Germany, the United States... and Canada.
- Three time Olympic gold medallist Ahn Hyun-Soo recently changed his nationality from South Korean to Russian (and his name to Viktor Ahn) due to a quarrel with the South Korean skating federation.
- Ice dancers Cathy and Chris Reed compete for their mother's country, Japan, since they where not able to make the American figure skating team. Their younger sister, Allison Reed, competes for Georgia (the country, not the state ).
- After failing to qualify for the US track and field team in 2008, Tiffany Porter decided to represent her mother's country, Great Britain. She will be competing at the London 2012 games for the home team.
- Canadian Owen Hargreaves played for England, his father's country, at the 2006 World Cup despite never having lived anywhere in Great Britain.
So, questions for you all:
How do you feel about people switching national allegiance in international competitions because they don't want to or don't think they can represent the country of their birth?