In a year of xenophobia and hatred, we have come together in the spirit of humanity. I have spent all year watching Donald Trump creep closer and closer to destroying America. I spent passed the year working on my MBA trying to stay out of Republican politics and instead focusing on figuring out what I stand for and what I am willing to fight for.
Over the past months I took a bigger step outside myself an acknowledged that the pain and frustration I felt as haters throw judgements at me for being Gay & Mormon are the same if not easier than the pain and anguish that my friends hear hurled at them from positions of power.
I’ve spent a year being an immigrant in a country who had a major talking point during their last election all about kicking out the immigrants. I joke that I’m here to take their jobs but I see with greater clarity the danger that xenophobia has created.
That is why I am so happy that we have come together for yet another Olympic Games which were founded with the purpose of promoting peace and unity within the international community through the medium of sports. We get to gather together and celebrate humanity in all its forms. The only thing separating athletes is the flags they wear.
No one is afraid of Simone Biles because she is black but because she is America’s Princess FIERCE! No one is afraid that Tom Daley is gay, they are hopeful that he has a chance to bring #TeamGB a gold medal. No one is afraid of Rafaela Silva because she came from the favelas but because she could kick your butt in Judo. No one is afraid of Ibtihaj Muhammad because she wears a hijab but because she can fly down 14 meters of a piste with a sabre in her hand.
Most impressive of all is that no one is afraid that the Refugee team is going to bring secret ISIS agents but rather are inspired that we have a refugee team who represents the 21 million displaced human beings.
The Olympics are a time to put away racism. To put aside xenophobia. To silence the jingoists. Yes it is a time for intense nationalistic pride, but not because we think we are ordained by God with something unique, because – on a level playing field – we have a chance to outperform, outlast, outgun our fellow human beings. Lets keep the spirit of the Olympics going in our hearts and in our words.