I wonder how our medal totals would be if we had an exclusionary immigration system which we have had for the last few years. My heart swells for all of our medalists, including those whose families have come from far off lands to love our country.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) August 4, 2021
Imagine how few Olympic medals America must have won in the middle of the 20th Century when it didn’t let in all that many immigrants? As we all know, old stock Americans have decadent DNA, so therefore they must have done badly. I don’t even have the stomach to look up how pathetic America’s Olympic medal totals must have been back before mass immigration.
Why nurture sports talent in our own American children, when the USA could just hire winners on the global athletic genes market the way morally advanced countries like Qatar & Bahrain import West African sprinters, East African distance runners, and Bulgarian weightlifters?
From the New York Times news section:
The small Gulf country, most of whose residents are foreign workers, has looked beyond its borders for athletes, too.
By Hannah Beech
Aug. 6, 2021, 3:12 a.m. ET
… Armed with cash, coaches and state-of-the-art training facilities, Qatar has been trying to assemble an athletic force worthy of the host of the 2022 soccer World Cup, not to mention other high-profile sporting events that the small Gulf state is eager to attract.
In Tokyo, Qatar has fielded 16 competitors — 13 men and three women — most of whom were drafted from other countries. They include athletes originally from Mauritania, Egypt, Sudan and Morocco. To represent Qatar, where Arabic names are common, many have shed their original names for purposes of competition. But they earn salaries and opportunities that would be impossible in their countries of origin.
“We are one of the best countries to support sports, the government supporting us to achieve things,” said Abderrahman Samba, a 400-meter hurdler who placed fifth in the finals in Tokyo.
Finishing 5th in the spectacular men’s 400m men’s hurdle won by Karsten Warholm is a highly respectable performance.
… Mr. Samba grew up in Saudi Arabia but ran for Mauritania, his parents’ homeland, before turning up as a Qatari competitor in 2016, about a year after moving there.
“They helped me follow my dream,” he said. “They give me everything.”
Mr. Younousse, the beach volleyball player, was raised in Senegal. His partner, Mr. Tijan, was Gambian. Both were recruited by Qatari scouts trawling the beaches of Dakar, the Senegalese capital, looking for leggy talent to play for national glory — a nation, granted, other than their own.
The father of Fares Elbakh, one of Qatar’s two gold medalists in Tokyo, was an Olympic weight lifter for Egypt. His son, better known in weight lifting circles as Meso Hassona, followed in his footsteps, but for another flag. Last week, Mr. Elbakh claimed two records in the 96-kilogram division and won the first Olympic gold in Qatar’s history.
Qatar is hardly the only country whose Olympic teams boast foreign-born talent. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have also packed their teams with imported athletes.
Dozens of Chinese-born table tennis players, who would not have made the grade on China’s dominant squads, have competed for other nations in recent Olympics. In Tokyo, paddlers from China represented Australia, Japan and Canada, among other countries.
This week, a sprinter named Emre Zafer Barnes competed for Turkey in the 100-meter-dash heats in Tokyo. Six years ago, he was a Jamaican named Winston Barnes. …
“In Jamaica, you know, you have a lot of athletes running pretty fast times, close to medal, podium standard,” Mr. Barnes said. “It doesn’t leave much space for other guys like me.”
Barnes is an Olympic quality sprinter, but not a Jamaican Olympic quality sprinter since countries are limited to 3 entrants max in each event.
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, nearly 50 foreign-born athletes competed for the United States, and eight won medals. Four runners from Kenya were recruits in a U.S. Army program that trades athletic training for military service.
Bahrain, a Persian Gulf state with Sunni rulers lording it over Shia residents, recruits huge numbers of Sunni soldiers and policemen from other countries. Athletes recruited from abroad are promised lifetime jobs with nice pensions in the security forces. It would be interesting to know how much attention the Biden Administration has paid to the Bahrain model.
Still, the United States is a country regularly sustained by immigration.
Without the sustaining lifeblood of immigration, the US would wither away.
In Qatar, which relies heavily on imported labor, nearly 90 percent of residents are foreigners, but only a tiny number can hope for citizenship. Athletes are among the exceptions. …
But Qatar is working on growing their own gold medalists … assuming they have the right kind of DNA:
One of the academy’s stars is Mutaz Essa Barshim, a high jumper who shared a heartwarming gold with an Italian in Tokyo. He was born and raised in Qatar, but his father was a race walker of Sudanese heritage.
Coaches in the Gulf say that wealthy Arab parents are less likely to allow their children to pursue athletic careers.
Also, Persian Gulf citizen males tend to be among the laziest people on earth.
By contrast, sports can be seen as a way out of poverty for children in parts of Africa.