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Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Winter Olympics

From the Washington Post:

Once composed almost exclusively of white athletes from small communities in the Northeast and Midwest, the U.S. team that will march into the Olympic Stadium on Friday night for Opening Ceremonies will be the most racially and ethnically diverse in the history of the Winter Games.

It will include a Cuban American from Miami, a Puerto Rican American from Chicago, a Japanese American from Seattle and African Americans from Chicago, Alabama and North Carolina, all among the country's strongest medal hopes. At least 23 of the 211-member U.S. team have Hispanic or non-white backgrounds, and the team includes natives of Florida, Georgia and Texas, as well as South Korea, Russia and Japan.

Though the U.S. Olympic Committee does not keep official records on race or ethnicity, the number of black, Asian American or Hispanic athletes on the U.S. team is more than double that at Salt Lake City in 2002, which included at least 12 minorities. It is nearly four times the number on the U.S. teams that competed in 1998 in Nagano and 1994 in Lillehammer.

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