I enjoy athletic competition and I especially enjoy following the NBA (I may be from So Cal, but I loathe Kobe!) but the Olympics and the World Cup and other events whereby people come out with their jingoism usually make me a bit nauseous. The national anthems that proclaim that each country is glorious and are imbued with ultra-masculine military themes and the flags that set people apart from one another simply annoy me. Having said that, I usually root for the underdog or the athletes from the developing world. The people in those countries, especially the ones ravaged by war or under military occupation, could use the excuse to be joyous.
Take the case of the Maher Abu Rmeileh, “the first Palestinian to make it to the Olympics by qualifying in competition” who “aims to bring glory to his country in Judo.” Palestine, a non-state under a decades-long military occupation which is constantly having a ruthless Israeli military machine laying waste to its cities and inhabitants, can use the cause for celebration more than any other country, in my opinion.
See the video about the Palestinian olympian here.
Thus, I will be cheering him on at every turn as if his flag, a flag denied, was my own.