Pete Riehm
Olympic games succumb to virus and wokeness
By Pete Riehm
August 10, 2021

The delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics have come and gone. Did you miss it? Did you even realize the Olympics were just held and closed out? What happened to the Olympics? Many older Americans fondly recall when the Olympics were a prestigious quadrennial spectacle that seemed to make the whole world pause for a moment. The people of the planet stopped to marvel at magnificent human feats in a variety of sports and all the nations put aside their differences to compete and excel in the many arenas of sports. It was competitive but collegial. It was inspiring and uplifting. Every person came away feeling better about humanity and every nation came away prouder and feeling part of global community built on excellence.

What changed?! Some might say the Tokyo Olympics plagued by the unending Chinese virus was hobbled if not doomed before it started. Aside from the participants and media being severely restricted from off field activities, the spectators were banished. There were no fans cheering on their hometown heroes, so the Olympians competed in relative silence only witnessed by apathetic journalists in empty stadiums. It was anti-climatic, bland, and even dull.

But why?! Despite a few notable disappointments like men's basketball and women's soccer, the USA had several remarkable bright spots. The USA won the most overall medals by a lot and beat China for most Gold Medals. Men's wrestling was quite exciting with come from behind performances to win gold in several categories. The women's relay team had a stupendous performance to handily win gold. And Allyson Felix beat Carl Lewis's record to become the most decorated American track star in history with an amazing 11 Olympic medals! That's a huge achievement that should be headlines across the country and make her an instant national celebrity, but her incredible story and extraordinary success only seemed to survive a couple of news cycles.

Are we just too busy or distracted to pay much attention to these astonishing displays of perseverance and talent? Are we overwhelmed and saturated with information? Or has the excitement and splendor of the Olympics been poisoned by preening self-serving narcissists more interested in their own personal prospects and political agendas?

The awe of outstanding personal achievement seems to be eclipsed by self-righteous wokeness; and the national pride in representing your country has been lost to endless opportunities to disrespect and even hate the nation that sent you and made your dreams possible. Americans are intrinsically turned off by such blatant ingratitude. Hammer thrower Gwen Berry foreshadowed the anti-American sentiment when she turned her back on the National Anthem during Olympic trials, so Americans were already somewhat disenchanted before the Olympics even started. Shot Putter, Raven Saunders, proved wokeness on display when she won Silver and crossed her arms to protest for the "oppressed people" in the most affluent free nation on earth.

Perhaps the worst offender is the bitter strident LGBTQ activist, Megan Rapinoe, that led the USA women's soccer team to kneel for the National Anthem and a lackluster bronze performance. Her America loathing was so brazen that she actually motivated many Americans to root against our own team. Sports and especially the Olympics used to inspire us to rise above our differences and politics to celebrate excellence no matter who you are, but these woke athletes have succeeded in sullying sports and bringing it down into the putrid mire of partisan politics. Rapinoe is so unpopular that Subway franchisees are begging the corporation to dump her as a spokesman and stop running her ads.

Sadly, these woke activist athletes stole the show and the Tokyo Olympics set two records for fewest viewers, but there was one superstar that not only out shown these dark stars – she may have single handedly resurrected patriotism. Tamyra Mensah-Stock put in a superlative performance to win gold in women's wrestling. Her achievement was historic, but so was her response when asked how she felt about her win. She unabashedly declared she was extremely proud to live in the USA and honored to represent America! What?! Her father came to America from Ghana to pursue the American dream and she fulfilled her father's dream. Now that is the quintessential American story and Americans loved it!

Tamyra Mensah-Stock became an instant national sensation and deservedly so! Despite the media relentlessly trying to glorify all the America haters, she reminded us that anything is possible in the land of the free. She thanked God for her blessings and thereby also reminded us that America is great because Americans like her are simply good. She and cheering fans across the land also demonstrated that we still revere our genuine heroes and love the country and God that allows us to pursue our dreams.

Every American owes Tamyra Mensah-Stock a tremendous debt. She broke through the media stranglehold on patriotism and proved the American dream still lives. Leftists and the Democrat Media Complex want you to believe the American dream is dead and you can only survive with government assistance, but they are no match for a first generation American female wrestler. Thank you and God bless you, Tamyra! You are the best of America and America loves you!

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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