Am I racist for wondering why all the sprinters in the women’s European athletics tournament were black?…?
I was watching the women’s European athletics on tv and it was the 100m sprint final between the UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Sweden, and I was really interested to see which country would win and what their athletes were all going to look like. I have a picture in my mind of what women from these different European countries typically look like, (Germans and Swedes are blonde and tall, the Spanish and Italians are olive skinned and have beautiful bone structures etc), and I wanted to see how they would compete in a sprint race. Anyway, when the athletes all came out to the starting blocks they were all of black or mixed racial heritage, which surprised me because I’d been expecting ethnically german, italian and Swedish looking woman to appear and walk up to the lineup. I’ve never considered myself a racist and think everybody is the same deep down, but I do find it strange that the six European nations that competed in this race were all represented by people of black or mixed ethnic background. When I looked up the stats of the sprinters I found that half of them weren’t born or grew up in the contries they ran for, they had emigrated there when they signed sports contracts or had moved there with family when they were in their teens. It seems to defeat the point of having a European competition, because none of the sprinters that competed in the race were ethnically from any of the countries that ran. I know that nationality is nothing to do with ethnicity or race, and that’s why I understand that most American sprinters are of African American ancestry – the entire country is a melting pot and therefore they just pick the best athletes to compete. But the very nature of a European competition suggests that each nation has qualities and abilities that are unique to them, and which they train best at, it’s why Russians were traditionally champions at shotput, and the Swedes are excellent at the high jump.
Wouldn’t we be better just doing away with the national divisions of the games and just having an all-inclusive world competition where people compete for their own aggrandisment rather than winning medals for a country they moved to when they were fifteen?
Am I incredibly wrong for thinking this? Or is it just a sign that Europe is becoming an increasingly racially-mixed society that I just have to accept?
Below is a picture of the sprinters