International Elite thoughts on American athletes competing for other countries in international competitions?

gymgal

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CB has been a little slow on topics lately so I figured I would try to spark discussion.

I understand why some Americans do this as they have a better chance of competing in these competitions but I have a hard time getting past the "fairness" of it. And I know that's a loaded word but I am not sure there is better word for this. On one hand, perhaps it allows lesser competitive countries to a chance to have representation, where they might not have if they went with only their native residents. On the other hand, it almost assuredly prevents native residents from the chance to represent their own country. I don't see it as an issue of the gymnast actually lives/lived and trained in the country for an extended time but to use a dual citizenship solely to get into the international competitions seems to me to be skirting around the intent of the rules and is not a true represention of the country. What are your thoughts?
 
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ldw4mlo

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As someone with a child born in another country. I can see where being able to compete for the country where she was born would be healing for her and help her to connect to a culture and heritage that was lost to her.

And her birth country excels in gymnastics so she wouldn’t have a chance of competing there. But if she could qualify and wanted to we would be all in.

Again it would be her birth country, she is not generations removed.

I also don’t have a problem with athletes from other countries training here and going back to compete in their home country.
 

gymisforeveryone

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We had an american junior athlete (level 10 I think) competing in our Nationals. She has dual citizenship of course. She qualified to the Nationals without going to the qualification competition, the national gymnastics federation gave her a permission to attend via video judging. Some people though it wasn't fair I guess, but I didn't mind. She ended up placing in the Nationals. She didn't get into our Junior Worlds team though, I think that was her goal. Of course she would have never had the opportunity to even try if she was going to get there representing the USA.

Some of the girls in the Nationals were surprised to see an unknown gymnast competing there since our gymnastics world inside this country is so small. Some people might have thought that she "took" someone else's medal, but I just think that life is not fair and it's never going to be. We just have to accept that and focus on ourselves and how we could be good enough next time.
 
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claudidoll

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I think the NCAA thing is different you are representing your collage not your country so if you get into the school and make the team you’ve earned the right to compete. It’s not a citizenship thing.
 

ldw4mlo

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I think the NCAA thing is different you are representing your collage not your country so if you get into the school and make the team you’ve earned the right to compete. It’s not a citizenship thing.
But they are taking a college spot/scholarship from a US athlete.

Earn your way into college based on NCAA rules. Earn your way onto a countries team based on their rules. Same difference
 

ldw4mlo

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I think the NCAA thing is different you are representing your collage not your country so if you get into the school and make the team you’ve earned the right to compete. It’s not a citizenship thing.
And if someone is born in the country it is their country.

The Korean adoptee who played hockey for South Korea in the Olympics was a Korean born in Korea. It was her actual birth country
 

Ali'sMom

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Earn your way into college based on NCAA rules. Earn your way onto a countries team based on their rules. Same difference
Do students from other countries not have to follow NCAA rules? Or is there a rule that they have to graduate from a US high school?
I have never actually looked into it, just figured everyone getting into a US college followed the same rules.
 

gymgal

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As someone with a child born in another country. I can see where being able to compete for the country where she was born would be healing for her and help her to connect to a culture and heritage that was lost to her.

Again it would be her birth country, she is not generations removed.
And following the logic, what about NCAA athletes from other countries, should they be able to take a US kids spot?
US citizens with dual citizenship are not necessarily born in a different country. Often, it is because their parents are citizens of another country but have lived in the US most of their lives. So there are no ties to that country for the child.

As for the NCAA, as someone else mentioned, the athlete is competing for the college, not the country. There is no presumed loyalty to the college prior to committing. When you compete at international competitions, it is presumed you are from that country, when in fact, you are using a "loop-hole".

I am going to have to research this but I wonder how many athletes from other countries but have dual citizenship choose to compete for the US? And if it does occur, how does the athletes in that sport feel about it?
 

Jard.the.gymnast

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Do students from other countries not have to follow NCAA rules? Or is there a rule that they have to graduate from a US high school?
I have never actually looked into it, just figured everyone getting into a US college followed the same rules.
I know for a fact you do not have to attend American high school if you want to go to American university... So I assume Ncaa sports are no different.

I think it's all their right to compete for another country. Yes maybe they took the spot from a 'native' but national coaches will not just put people on a team because of nationality. They put people on a team for quality. If you are not on the team because someone was better than you, that happens all the time in all countries.
 

3cats

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I am so confused about the poster who believes that a US college should only be taking in all American athletes. Colleges are not representing the US. It is an academic institution that hopefully does and should be worldly inspired and therefore represent the diversity of academics throughout the world.

Any student is able to attend a university not based on his or her country of origin but instead based on his or her ability to contribute to the academic community.

If a sport such as gymnastics provides an open door for a student from another country to attend university than that is what that student should do.

College athlete participation is not related to the discussion OP was trying to engage. That is an entirely different situation and worth nuanced discussion.
 

Flippin'A

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I've never heard of someone getting angry at a gymnast competing for their birth country, even if they moved as a small child. Even when the gymnast only has a parent from that country (Corinne Bunagan competes for the Philippines, Danusia Francis competes for Jamaica) there doesn't seem to be much scandal attached to it most of the time. There've been two times when I remember real backlash over this--

The first was when two American gymnasts with no ties to the country went and competed for Belarus. They didn't have family history there, they'd never set foot in the country, their families just basically paid to get them on any team that would let them compete internationally. That was back before Rio sometime, and I remember a good amount of grumbling happening.

When Trinidad and Tobago chose Marisa Dick over Thema Williams for Rio. Williams was born in Trinidad but trained at Twistars while Dick's mother was born in Trinidad but she herself was Canadian. I remember reading that the Trinidadian public was so angry people were sending Dick death threats and stuff. They were fairly evenly matched when it came to gymnastics, and choosing the gymnast who wasn't native born seemed to really strike a chord.

I guess my stance is who gets to say what "strong ties" to another country are? No one had anything bad to say when Chuso competed for Germany because her son was being treated there for Leukemia. And of course, only a monster would complain about that. I even heard people suggest that Biles go compete for Belize (her adopted mother was born there) if USAG falls apart. I understand why it rubs people the wrong way when something like the Belarus situation happens, but I'm not sure how to police it without hindering gymnasts that have more "legitimate" claims to their adopted countries.
 

moogacat

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The first was when two American gymnasts with no ties to the country went and competed for Belarus. They didn't have family history there, they'd never set foot in the country, their families just basically paid to get them on any team that would let them compete internationally. That was back before Rio sometime, and I remember a good amount of grumbling happening.
I read the OP in the context of the Belarus situation. I agree that was not quite "sporting," for lack of a better word, but FIG has changed the rules to prevent situations like that again. I definitely don't have issues with people competing for other countries where they have a familial, residential, or historical tie. Like ldw4mlo, my child was born in another country and if she wanted to compete there and could qualify I'd support that. There's not a chance in Hades of that happening because that country is in the team medal mix every Olympics, but conceptually I think it's fine.
 

Jenny

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I don't have a problem with people changing to compete for another country. But I think they should renounce their previous citizenship and take full citizenship of the new country. The Belamericans would never have given up US citizenship to compete for Belarus. They basically paid to compete at Worlds and the Olympics. Which goes against the Olympic ideals I think. They had no connection to Belarussia. The whole thing was crazy and should never have happened. Buying a spot at the Olympics doesn't sit well with anyone. People with dual citizenship etc I have no problem with.
 

GymDadWA

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I more so have a problem in international individual competitions not having the best athletes participating because each country has a limit on how many can represent them. For individual awards if you are one of the best in the world you should be there over someone that comes from a country with a smaller talent pool. I'm fine with minimal representation, like every country can send two assuming they meet a criteria, but not a fan of hard caps.
 
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ausnat83

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I am so confused about the poster who believes that a US college should only be taking in all American athletes. Colleges are not representing the US. It is an academic institution that hopefully does and should be worldly inspired and therefore represent the diversity of academics throughout the world.
I don't think that anyone here has said they believe that - I think it was raised as a comparison issue as part of the discussion. In the context of the previous post, I read that comment/question about universities as basically "if you believe that people who decide to compete for another country based on their parent's citizenship or birth place or similar are 'taking' a spot from someone who lives in that country, then do you feel the same about non-US gymnasts 'taking' scholarship spots in NCAA?"
 

Ali'sMom

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I know for a fact you do not have to attend American high school if you want to go to American university... So I assume Ncaa sports are no different.
That's how I took it. I mean, my daughter plans to apply to two foreign colleges, and I have no belief that she'd be taking away a position from someone in those countries.
 

Ali'sMom

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And following the logic, what about NCAA athletes from other countries, should they be able to take a US kids spot?
Basically they should be able to take a spot they earn at that college on that team, regardless of their nationality.
 
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twinmomma

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I don't have a problem with people changing to compete for another country. But I think they should renounce their previous citizenship and take full citizenship of the new country. The Belamericans would never have given up US citizenship to compete for Belarus. They basically paid to compete at Worlds and the Olympics. Which goes against the Olympic ideals I think. They had no connection to Belarussia. The whole thing was crazy and should never have happened. Buying a spot at the Olympics doesn't sit well with anyone. People with dual citizenship etc I have no problem with.
The US does not require renunciation of US citizenship in order to have citizenship in another country. Why would we require that of athletes but not anyone else?
 

AWOL

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When did this change, I know that my son who was born to USA citizen parents but in a different country had to declare which country he wanted to be a citizen of at the age of 18
 
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