USA Today is reporting that the Chinese government created a list of American athletes that might cause trouble at the Beijing Olympic Games this summer.
The names included softball players Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza and soccer player Abby Wambach, who broke her leg and missed the Olympic Games. It also included two Paralympians, one athlete who wasn’t a member of the 2008 softball team and a top female collegiate golfer. Golf is not an Olympic sport. We viewed these concerns as being entirely unjustified and unwarranted, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said in an e-mail Wednesday. As such, we rejected the request to address this with our athletes or transmit the letter to them. We saw absolutely no need to burden the athletes with this.
Jennie Finch? Paralympians? Nice work, China. Very thorough report.
One athlete on the list couldn’t be happier about it.
This may be the biggest compliment of my life, Wambach, a member of Team Darfur, said in a phone interview when informed of the list. If they’re worried about us, maybe we do have more strength as athletes and as people to speak out. This just gives me more empowerment.