In fact, no matter your political affiliation, there’s something — or someone — worth celebrating. Here’s a heart-warming sampling of the Olympic cheering coming from some of America’s leaders on both sides of the aisle:
- Nearly every week for almost six years, Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan takes to the Senate floor to praise an “Alaskan of the Week.” This week’s honoree, swimmer Lydia Jacoby, not only won gold in the 100 meter breaststroke, she is now the first person to ever win Alaskan of the Week twice. “We are not going to forget it, and I guarantee you Lydia’s hometown of Seward, Alaska … they are not going to forget it,” Sullivan said from the Senate floor.
- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, proclaimed Friday, July 30, 2021 to be Sunisa Lee Day in his state in honor of the 18-year-old gymnast from St. Paul. “Lee and her teammates have trained through adversity, including her father’s injury, the COVID-19 pandemic, and competing at venues without a live audience or fans cheering them on,” the proclamation read. Lee is the first Minnesotan to win an individual gold medal in gymnastics, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
- Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott cheered swimmer Robert Finke for his gold medal-winning performance in the 800-meter freestyle: “Congratulations to Floridian @Robert_Finke for winning gold in the 800-meter freestyle at the #Tokyo2020 Olympics!” he tweeted. “You’ve made Florida proud.”
- Hawaii Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted praise for surfer and lone native Hawaiian at the Olympics Carissa Moore: “Especially proud of @rissmoore10 – not only the way she surfs but the way she represents Hawaii and America.” Moore went on to win the first-ever women’s surfing gold medal — and delivered a thank-you speech in Japanese.
- Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah praised gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from the women’s gymnastics team event because of mental health concerns, and the Olympic team writ large, in a message on Twitter. Romney tweeted: “I love and admire Simone Biles and our Olympians. Beyond their determination and sacrifice, they evidence the greatness of the human spirit, in victory and in defeat. I take pride in them, not so much for the medals they win as for the grace, humanity & character of their hearts.” Romney has history with the Olympic games, since he was the head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. And let’s not forget Rafalca, the famous dressage horse owned by his wife Anne who competed in the 2012 games in London.
The Point: The Olympics are a chance for the nation — and its leaders — to come together to celebrate some amazing people. And we are all better off for it. Happy Sunisa Lee Day!